Ciattarelli Continues Quest to Court Far-Right Extremists, Refuses to Denounce Oath Keeper GOP Candidate
Is Republican Candidate Ciattarelli Hearing Rizzo’s Footsteps?
TRENTON, NJ — Ever since he began his candidacy for Governor, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has bent over backwards to appeal to the far-right, Trump-QAnon wing of the Republican Party. First he flip flopped on Donald Trump, from calling him a “charlatan” in 2016 to embracing his disastrous policy agenda, and even attended a “Stop the Steal” rally in 2020. Then he doubled down on his support for a host of harmful right-wing policies, from voter suppression to cutting women’s health care funding to stopping the state’s minimum wage increase.
Now, Assemblyman Ciattarelli is reportedly refusing to denounce Republican District 37 State Senate candidate Edward Durfee, the Northern NJ Regional Director of the Oath Keepers — a dangerous anti-government militia group whose leaders helped organize the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Why is Ciattarelli so concerned about alienating the far right? Maybe because his new primary opponent, tax-dodger Phil Rizzo, is reportedly courting Trump’s endorsement and catching fire with the former President’s base. Is Ciattarelli hearing Rizzo’s footsteps?
“Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli’s desperate attempt to appeal to the most radical, lunatic fringe of the Republican Party suddenly makes a lot more sense after the emergence of Phil Rizzo as a challenger for the GOP gubernatorial nomination,” said NJDSC Spokesman Phil Swibinski. “The question New Jerseyans need an answer to is how far is Ciattarelli willing to go to placate the far-right? He’s apparently fine being on the ballot with an Oath Keeper, so how about a Proud Boy? Or a KKK member? Or a neo-Nazi? Ciattarelli’s embrace of the far-right speaks volumes, and it’s just more proof of why he’s absolutely wrong for New Jersey.”