Elections

Determined Ciattarelli Kicks Off GOP Gubernatorial Campaign, Vows to Beat Cancer

3719e11d7b5ff90cc5a8_sompixjackkickoff2.JPG
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli speaks to the crowd at his kick-off reception. From left: Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caligure; state Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman and Ciattarelli's wife Melinda. Credits: Rod Hirsch
3719e11d7b5ff90cc5a8_sompixjackkickoff2.JPG

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – GOP gubernatorial candidate and state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli minced no words when he greeted hundreds of supporters at his kick-off reception last night, just two weeks after a Statehouse press conference where he announced that he was undergoing radiation and recovering from a Nov. 15 operation for throat cancer.

Standing behind the podium in the ballroom at the Somerville Elks, with his wife Melinda and other lawmakers behind him, Ciattarelli scanned the room, picked up the microphone and said:

“Screw the cancer.”

Sign Up for E-News

Game on.

He told the crowd that he’s been drawing strength from the well wishes, letters and cards of encouragement that have come his way since the announcement, saying it was the “best medicine” he could receive.

“I’m more determined than ever that I will beat the cancer,” he said.

Doctors have given Ciattarelli a positive prognosis; cancerous lymph nodes were removed during the  operation, and a full body scan detected no other signs of cancer.

Ciattarelli had said he would be forced to modify his campaign schedule and miss some scheduled events through mid-February because of the expected side effects from the radiation.

But there was no sign of that Thursday night.

Shifting gears with the aplomb of a veteran diplomat or seasoned stand-up comic, Ciattarelli had some fun at his own expense, joking about the diagnosis and subsequent radiation treatments.

When doctors gave him the results of his initial tests, Ciattarelli said he told them, “I can’t have cancer, I’m running for governor.”

The 55-year-old state Assemblyman was eager to show he is up for the medical and political challenges ahead.

“Twenty-two down and eight to go,” he said, referring to the number of radiation sessions yet to complete.

“We all need chicken soup, and she’s mine,” Ciattarelli said when he introduced his wife of 24 years.

Joining Ciattarelli on stage were former Assemblywoman Donna Simon, who represented the 16th legislative district with Ciattarelli for four years before losing re-election in 2015; Hunterdon County Freeholder Director John Lanza; Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire, state Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman; Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, (R-39th), and Assemblyman John DiMaio, (R-23rd).

They offered their endorsements of Ciattarelli’s bid in the June 6th GOP primary. His major opponent is Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who has served alongside Gov. Chris Christie for seven years.

“He needs to be our candidate; he needs to be our governor,” Caliguire said.

 “This is the guy who should be governor,” Simon said.

On Wednesday, Ciattarelli challenged Guadagno to a series of debates in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties.

Their expected Democrat opponent in the November election is Wall Street financier Peter Murphy.

Earlier in the day, Simon, Caliguire and Bateman kicked off their campaign to represent the 16th district. Simon will attempt to regain her seat, now held by Democrat Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. Caliguire will run for Ciattarelli’s seat, and Batemen will run for re-election in the Senate.

Ciattarelli’s campaign is based on the need for change, dumping the status quo, and a practical approach to the state’s ongoing financial crisis.

A graduate of Seton Hall University with degrees in accounting, Ciattarelli is a CPA and owns two businesses. He has been traveling throughout the state since last summer detailing his five-point plan to tackle the state’s fiscal woes.

Ciattarelli’s plan zeroes in on what he describes as an inequitable school funding formula, runaway property taxes, the public employee pension system, a reversal in downgrades of the state’s debt rating,  improved communications between state agencies and departments and upgrades to the state government’s computer system, which is outdated by as much as 20 years, according to the candidate.

Ciattarelli advocates bi-annual meetings to include the governor, lieutenant governor, the state Assembly and state Senate and New Jersey’s 12 members of the House of Representatives and two US Senators in an effort to do what is best for New Jersey by pooling their resources and expertise.

Ciattarelli said he is anxious to introduce his style of “can do” leadership to help reverse a long list of negatives that have become synonymous with New Jersey:

-          The state ranks last in the amount of federal aid received from Washington;

-          The state ranks first in the number of people that are leaving to live elsewhere;

-          New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation.

“Jack is going to be a great governor,” Bateman said. “He’s the only one who has a real plan; he cares about us. He’s going to get it done,” the veteran legislator added.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montclair

Bloomfield Police Department Requests Community Assistance in Locating Missing Autistic Teen

February 24, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- The Bloomfield Police Department is investigating a missing 19 year old autistic boy who is believed to have been separated from his mother earlier today within the township.

Nineteen year old Justin Uribe of Rockaway, NJ, was last seen at a doctor's office at 1066 Broad Street and is believed to have walked away towards the intersection of Watchung Avenue. Justin was ...

Dreams for Service Dog for Autistic NJ Resident Become Reality

February 25, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Faith Stanley, a Towaco resident and a single mother of four boys, sought help for her youngest son, Joey, who is almost three years old and diagnosed with autism. Amazingly enough, Faith found the help she needed!

Due to the generosity and help of so many people, Faith has managed to reach her goal of raising ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

Temple B'nai Abraham, Livingston

Maestro Robert W. Butts, Music Director & ...

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 26

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Montclair Police Blotter: Theft of Delivered Packages, Arrests and More

February 21, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ-  The following police blotter was issued by the Montclair Police Department on February 20, 2018:

Arrest:

 

02-13-2018 - A 16yoa East Orange male was arrested and charged with Unlawful Taking by Means of Conveyance, resulting from an investigation into a vehicle theft which occurred on 1/25/2018.

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Bridal Expo at The Palmer Event Center in New York

February 25, 2018

 “Bridal Expo” to be held at The Palmer Event Center in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

Join us for our first ever BRIDAL SHOW on Sunday, February 25 at 12 PM - 3 PM.  Brides are FREE and additional attendees are just $2. Drawings, giveaways, and samples!  The first 50 brides to ...