TRENTON, NJ — With the first, and potentially only, debate in the Republican Primary for Governor scheduled for tonight, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee is releasing a list of five burning questions Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and Hirsh Singh must answer for voters. Hosted by NJ 101.5 radio, the debate promises to be a race to the right with both candidates competing to see who can be the Trumpiest.
“Tonight voters will have the opportunity to see for themselves just how extreme and out of touch Republican candidates Hirsh Singh and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli are, and we think it’s important that they take a break from denying President Biden’s win and apologizing for white supremacists to address these pressing issues and tell New Jersey where they stand,” said NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda. “From the moment the Republican campaign began it’s been clear that Ciattarelli and Singh are much more interested in Donald Trump’s approval than in winning the support of a majority of New Jerseyans. This debate will be more proof of that and another reminder of just how radical today’s Republican Party has become.”
1. Who would be the worst enemy of women’s health care, Singh or Ciattarelli?
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is already well-known for supporting Chris Christie’s attacks on women’s health care funding during his long tenure as a State Assemblyman, drawing a rebuke from all 28 Democratic women in the Legislature. Hirsh Singh’s agenda is just as radical, including a pledge to completely defund Planned Parenthood. With the future of Roe v. Wade in jeopardy, which Republican candidate would be worse on choice? Right now, it’s hard to tell the difference.
2. Will they both continue to endorse Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ about the 2020 election?
It’s hard to find much daylight between Assemblyman Ciattarelli and Singh on the 2020 election. Ciattarelli spoke at a Trump “Stop the Steal” rally just weeks before the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and has refused to condemn the Republican Party’s continued attacks on our democracy. Meanwhile, Singh has explicitly claimed that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election from Donald Trump.
3. Who would stand more with the NRA and against our safety?
Both Hirsh Singh and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli have taken to the kind of gun-toting performance art that appeals to their radical Republican base. Singh filmed a campaign ad at a gun range posing with an assault rifle, talking up “good guys with guns” as a solution against violence. Ciattarelli said he thinks New Jersey’s gun safety laws have “gone too far” and he would support loosening the very laws that have made our state one of the safest in the country.
4. Which candidate would do more damage to voting rights?
While Democrats are working to make voting easier and improve access to the ballot box, Republicans like Singh and Assemblyman Ciattarelli support voter suppression schemes designed to disenfranchise voters of color. Assemblyman Ciattarelli has expressed support for voter ID laws, a policy that the ACLU calls “inherently discriminatory.” Meanwhile, Singh unsuccessfully sued the state last year, bizarrely claiming that mail-in voting was unconstitutional.
5. How many New Jerseyans would lose their health care under a Ciattarelli or Singh administration? Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has proven that he would be a disaster for the middle-class and working families on a multitude of issues, but health care is one of the worst. Assemblyman Ciattarelli signed on to the doomed Republican effort to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, a decision that would take health coverage away from thousands of families. Singh is no better — he opposes expanded health coverage and also supports removing Obamacare with no replacement plan, just like his idol Donald Trump.