TRENTON — Earlier this week, Bergen County Republicans nominated Ed Durfee, a loud and proud member of the far-right militia oath keepers, for the 37th Legislative District Assembly seat. Durfee will join fellow “Stop the Steal” enthusiast and Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli on the GOP ticket — yet another instance of the Assemblyman aligning himself with right-wing extremists.
To date, 12 Oath Keeper affiliates have been charged with their role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, including a Hackettstown native in New Jersey. For his part, Durfee, who is currently listed on the New Jersey Oath Keepers’ website as Secretary, Treasurer, and North Jersey Regional Director, stated “There’s no shame in being an Oath Keeper. I took an oath. It’s a sacred oath and it never expires. The nonsense that’s going on over Jan. 6 is just that.The FBI spun the whole thing.”
Assemblyman Ciattarelli has a history of embracing Trumpian far-right ideology, including maskless gladhanding, featured speaking roles at “Stop the Steal” rallies, and Jim Crow-era voter disenfranchisement.
“Assemblyman Ciattarelli is in a race to embrace the far-right, standing shoulder to shoulder with dangerous conspiracy theorists and the fringes of the GOP base,” said Murphy for Governor Spokesman Jerrel Harvey. “The Assemblyman has repeatedly shown that he has no problem cozying up to extremists, and he’ll always put partisanship before leadership and New Jersey values.”