NorthJersey.com: Our endorsement: As the pandemic continues, in New Jersey this is our choice for governor
NEWARK — The USA TODAY Network New Jersey Editorial Board yesterday endorsed Governor Phil Murphy for re-election, describing his leadership during the pandemic as “rooted in a reality governed by facts and science.”
The Editorial Board blasted Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli’s approach to COVID-19, including his opposition to vaccine and mask mandates, writing, “we cannot countenance his reluctance to aggressively combat the pandemic.” The Board also slammed Ciattarelli for embracing the “dark cloak of Trumpist populism to appease a rabid base.”
This is the second major Editorial Board endorsement for Governor Murphy. The New York Daily News endorsed the Governor on October 10, 2021.
Read key excerpts from the endorsement below:
COVID-19 remains the most pressing challenge facing New Jersey and the nation and we believe the ongoing effort to combat and stem the pandemic must remain the top priority for our elected leaders in the new year and beyond. Our elected officials, some hardened by battles already waged against COVID-19 and some who will come to office with new ideas and strategies, will be charged with helping New Jersey emerge into a new reality — one in which the coronavirus emerges as endemic.
Of course, there are other issues — particularly in the governor’s race — that warrant voters’ consideration and evaluation. But, as we considered the candidates and their platforms, no challenge facing New Jersey and its residents rose to the same level as the management of the COVID-19 crisis.
For that reason, we endorse Philip D. Murphy for a second term as New Jersey’s governor.
Murphy has worked to contrast his approach, which has been featured in regular public briefings across the pandemic’s 20-month arc thus far, with that proposed by his Republican opponent, Jack Ciattarelli. The former Somerset County Assemblyman has said that he opposes vaccine mandates and wants to leave masking in schools up to New Jersey parents.
Murphy has acknowledged that his management of the pandemic is a work in progress. That said, his “playbook” — the strategy he and his administration have honed over the last two years — has succeeded in preserving lives while maintaining a balance between public health and the economy.
Still, as heartening as Ciattarelli’s reasonable, once-mainline Republican positions were, we cannot countenance his reluctance to aggressively combat the pandemic.