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NJ GOP gov candidate Jack Ciattarelli rips ‘tone deaf elitist’ Phil Murphy as polls narrow

New Jersey businessman and former state lawmaker Jack Ciattarelli told Fox News on Wednesday that despite his race being the less narrow of the two governors races this November, he and his team are confident they can pull off an upset and unseat liberal Democratic Gov. Philip Murphy.

Ciattarelli told “Hannity” that despite about a 10-point polling deficit, he predicts the polls will continue to narrow as November 2 approaches in the Garden State – pointing out that despite its liberal bent, the state’s voters have elected Republicans to Trenton in six of the last ten races.

“If you look at history we do win races but don’t cut ahead until Election Day,” he said. “We are right where we need to be at this point in time. We are in a better position than previous gubernatorial candidates… We will carve out the razor-thin margin that we always have in the past.”

The state’s last Republican governor, Chris Christie, saw his lieutenant, Kimberly Guadagno, lose to Murphy four years ago after he became term-limited, but Ciattarelli said Murphy’s political messaging and numerous failures on the coronavirus pandemic mitigation front will be a factor on Election Day.

Murphy recently remarked that if taxes are the issue for the voter, then New Jersey is not their state, as well as championing it as the California of the East Coast, the candidate noted. Murphy made the latter remark in a 2017 discussion with then-California Gov. Edmund “Jerry” Brown.

Host Sean Hannity noted that Murphy’s COVID nursing home death numbers rivaled that of now-former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but that the former Goldman Sachs executive never got the same press as the outspoken Queens Democrat.

As he alluded to, New Jersey under Murphy saw multiple types of socioeconomic lockdown measures and mandates similar to its three blue-state neighbors of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York, that crippled its economy and led to the permanent closure of many family businesses.

“He’s telling people to leave,” Ciattarelli said of Murphy. “People of this state love this state, they realize it is broken.”

“[Murphy] is tone-deaf, he’s an elitist, and he’s just not New Jersey. We will continue to pound that home,” he said of his ticket, which includes running mate Diane Allen, a former Philadelphia newscaster and ex-Burlington lawmaker.

Ciattarelli and Allen have promoted their ticket at rallies and in signage as “Jack & Diane” – in reference to the John Mellencamp ditty.

The Somerville businessman told Hannity that his campaign is focused on lowering the state’s property taxes and improving the business climate.

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“I think we are dying a slow death and we will change that with my administration,” he said.

In the other gubernatorial race this year, Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin seeks to prevent former Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe from retaining his old seat. That race is within the statistical margin of error in recent polls.

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