TRENTON — Over the weekend, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli attended a campaign town hall organized by the Freedom Loving Patriots. An organization co-founded by Don and Donna Sherman, owners of Soups on Main, a Hackettstown restaurant which features a Nazi-themed storefront display, including books and images of Adolf Hitler, swastikas, and an “All Lives Matter” sign.
In a bizarre rant, Donna Sherman attempted to defend Soups on Main’s actions by offering QAnon conspiracies and referring to an “evil lurking and overtaking more than just the Black community.”
In addition to supporting dangerous anti-semitic rhetoric and espousing racist views, an online petition also alleges the Shermans have used “intimidation and harassment against local residents, especially women,” who’ve questioned Soups on Main’s refusal to adhere to public health guidelines.
For Assemblyman Ciattarelli, Saturday’s town hall offered him yet another opportunity to court Trump’s far-right base, which the Assemblyman has eagerly embraced throughout his campaign — headlining a “Stop the Steal Rally,” attending maskless indoor campaign events, and aligning himself with an Oath Keeper candidate.
As Republicans battle it out over the future of their party, it’s clear the Assemblyman is siding with extremism and has no interest in distancing himself from a twice-impeached former president.
“Assemblyman Ciattarelli has repeatedly made the decision to embrace extremism, and he sees no issue with bringing a far-right, radical agenda with him to the ballot this year,” said Murphy for Governor Spokesman Jerrel Harvey. “His effort to cozy up to the most extreme isn’t an accident — it’s a pattern. New Jerseyans won’t vote for an out-of-touch candidate like Ciattarelli, who consistently puts politics over people and the future of our democracy.”