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NEW JERSEY - If New Jersey residents were not justifiably distracted with a deadly assault on the Capitol of the United States of America, they may have noticed the implosion of a top candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of the State of New Jersey, Doug Steinhardt.

A month after he jumped into the race as the only candidate that supports Donald Trump, former state Republican Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt apparently realized - Monday night - that he had 'unforeseen professional obligations'. His leaving the race leaves Jack Ciatarelli as the lone front runner. 

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Steinhardt is a busy law partner with one of the most politically connected firms in the State of New Jersey, Steinhardt is a law partner with former Gov. Jim Florio, a Democrat, at the firm Florio Perrucci Steinhardt Cappelli Tipton & Taylor. “Last month, I was thrilled to announce our campaign for Governor, and the positive response from grassroots activists and donors has been overwhelming,” Steinhardt said. “While our strong standing in this race make this decision even more heart-breaking, unfortunately, unforeseen professional obligations have made it untenable for me to continue in this race as a candidate for Governor.” said Steinhardt.

The curious timing between Steinhardt's resignation, his support for President Trump and the situation in Washington begged the question of a relationship.  According to an article in the APP, Steinhardt's campaign released an ad earlier the same day the pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol building, criticizing Ciattarelli for being insufficiently supportive of the president. 

Ciatarelli released a statement about the attack that said, in part, "No one is innocent here. We need a bipartisan, zero-tolerance policy on this behavior — both in word and action. As someone aspiring to be governor and the leader of our state, I am committed to leading the way and making New Jersey a model for how our country can move forward."

Steinhardt pledged to rid Trenton of special interests during his short campaign. He also attacked Jack Ciatarelli for not fully supporting President Trump.

Two others are running for the republican nomination - Joseph Rudy Rullo and Hirsh Singh. Their impact appears to be minimal, however, as Ciatarelli is racking up endorsements from many counties across the state as the filing deadlines are near.

You can listen to a podcast with Jack Ciatarelli recorded by LegiLEADERS HERE

Editor's note: The publisher of TAPinto Holmdel, Colts Neck, Middletown, Hazlet and Keyport is a family member of the LegisLeader podcast host.