The race to succeed Phil Murphy started earlier than any gubernatorial contest in memory, possibly ever.
Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli conceded his 2021 loss to Murphy and immediately announced a 2025 campaign in the same speech. A former Assemblyman and Somerset freeholder, Ciattarelli unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination in 2017 before finally overcoming that hurdle four years later in 2021. If he goes through with his plan to run again in two years, Ciattarelli will have been actively running for the same office for a decade.
Another potential contender appears to be readying a launch well ahead of the normal timeframe.
On Monday, NJ 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea tweeted a photo of his 501(c)(4) organization‘s new yard sign – one that looks suspiciously like a campaign sign – along with a promise that “some big announcements” are “coming soon” and urging followers to stand with him:
Get your yard sign today…
…ahead of some big announcements coming soon…
Stand with me. The fight is just gettin’ started. #CommonSenseClub#RestoreSanity#FightForNormal
— Bill Spadea (@BillSpadea) August 15, 2022
Might one of those announcements be THE announcement?
We’ll see. On the one hand, Spadea has a large daily platform and would benefit from holding onto it as long as possible. He reaches and influences thousands every morning. The minute he announces? He’ll have to give up his microphone. On the other: Ciattarelli fired the starting pistol early and 2023 offers many opportunities to traverse the Turnpike and Parkway boosting legislative allies as they labor to take back the State House for the first time in two decades.
The only certainty is that interest in 2025 after eight years of the Murphy Administration promises to be intense on the right side of the aisle (regardless of which party wins the White House in 2024).
Ciattarelli and Spadea are all the proof you need.