In Hoboken, Ciattarelli jokes Raia should be lt. gov; Branco announces challenge to Romano


At Lola’s Tapas Bar in Hoboken, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jack Ciattarelli joked that Frank “Pupie” Raia should be his lieutenant governor, while local GOP Chair Joe Branco announced a bid for county commissioner against incumbent Anthony “Stick” Romano.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“2024 is the presidential race and then in 2025 we’ll get after it and I’ve found my lieutenant governor,” Ciattarelli said at the annual Hoboken GOP Lincoln Dinner last night, placing his hand on Raia’s shoulder.

“Now, Mauro said to me that you’ll never pass the background check, but I don’t believe that s***. I don’t care what the background check says: Pupie, you are my lieutenant governor. He came up to me and said ‘I know more people than anybody all throughout New Jersey:’ that’s the only qualification we’re looking for.”

A woman then yelled out that there are no background checks in Hudson County, to which Ciattarelli laughed and agreed.

During an interview with HCV, Ciattarelli was asked why he decided to point out Raia, who was convicted of vote-by-mail fraud in June 2019, during his roughly seven-minute speech.

“Well listen: we need to compete in vote-by-mail and that’s something that Democrats have done better than us. In the old days, we had challengers working on Election Day and tried to track people down to vote sometime between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. when the polls closed,” he explained.

“Democrats understand well that if you move someone to the mail, you’ve got 45 days to track ’em down, not three hours. So we need to move more and more of our low propensity Republicans to mail. And that’s the strategy and I believe we’re gonna do it with success.”

Ciattarelli, who lost to Gov. Phil Murphy (D) by about three points in 2021, noted why he attended a number of Lincoln dinners across the state this month, referring to him “as our patron saint, we’re all disciples of Abraham Lincoln.”

Hoping to make the third time a charm in 2025 when there will be no incumbent running, a recent FDU poll has Ciattarelli with 76 percent name ID and 47 percent favorability among red voters.

Still, other potential Republican candidates such as 101.5 radio show host Bill Spadea and state Senator Michael Testa also showed a pulse in that poll.

Ciattarelli said that while he appreciated people already taking a look at 2025, he’s focused on flipping the legislature this year, noting that U.S. Reps. Jeff Van Drew (D-2), Chris Smith (R-4), and Tom Kean, Jr. (R-7) were key in ousting Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker last year.

“Right now in the Senate it’s 24-16, so all we need to do is win four races and we’ve got a 20-20 split: we can do it. We picked up a number of seats in 2021. Let’s not forget: this is the new map, the legislative maps get redrawn every 10 years and this map is more favorable to Republicans so we’ve got a real opportunity here.”

He declined to say who he was leaning towards in the 2024 presidential race, though noted that he’s feeling good about Republicans having a deep bench.

Hudson County GOP Chair Jose Arango, also the chair of chairs in New Jersey, said the local party “is the party of inclusion, the party of making your life better” before introducing two men who would be running for state Assembly in the 32nd Legislative District.

Robert Ramos and Jarred Schure, who were later introduced as Assembly candidates by Branco, both intimated that they were service oriented and looked forward to chatting with voters in their bids to upset the Democratic establishment.

“I will be running for county commissioner in District 5 on the Republican line, for the Republican party,” Branco said.

While they are all unlikely to face June 6th primary challenges, the candidates backed by the Hudson County Democratic Organization will be heavily favored due to both districts being navy blue on paper.

The Hoboken GOP, which turned out about 75 people at the event, also honored their executive secretary, Pavel Sokolov, and treasurer, Kathy DeRose, for their work in the party, while residents Mauro Castano and John Ratto were recognized for their community service.

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  1. Jack is correct about the 45 days now as the Demoncrats have moved from Election Day to ballot stuffing over more than a month with their Pupie Machine gone national. Poor Pupie, he was just a few years before his time. Today, he’d be celebrated and welcomed by Obama and Biden and hailed as a hero of the Election Theft 2020 party.

    Oh and Branco is a dead man walking. Romano will have no problems with his angry “former” Chief of Staff.

    • he’s joined the party of santos, greene and boebert. makes sense. the party that believes that truth is for losers and whoever has the most money should win is a perfect home for him.

      • Who know what Pupie is doing than attending a dinner.

        We do know Pupie inspired and then saw his voting vision take with the Democrat Party. The party of Pupie Ballot Harvesting, destruction of American civil rights and censorship.

        All a bit more important.

        • I get it. it’s too nuanced for you. I imagine almost everything is.

          People who want to buy influence are all more or less the same. Rich, reckless and authoritarian. At the local level they are democrats. You can’t get started in Hudson County any other way. it doesn’t mean they aren’t rich, reckless and authoritarian. At the national level, they give that money to the party of wealth, the GOP.

          I bet you’re one of these people who keeps telling yourself and everyone else the democrats are the party of slavery. But you’ll consistently leave out the inconvenient fact that the modern republican party is the product of the civil rights act of 1964, which caused the jim crow dixiecrats to abandon the dems and join the GOP. Yeah, you are.

  2. Great to see a challenger to Romano.

    Shockingly as we know he speaks out both sides, I think Stick got too stuck with the loser Team Bhalla, abandoning our old Hoboken values for looney leftist Soros socialist policies.

    I think he is a long shot, but I know my family are all voting for Joe Branco.

    • LOL, at this point you probably don’t even realize how ridiculous that comment is! You’ve drowned in the kooky kool-aid, too late.

      “Loser Team Bhalla”? Really? Earth to Joey: didn’t he he win election, and re-election?? And your side was too lame to even come up with someone to challenge because they knew how popular and well liked the mayor was.

      So basically, everything you just said is nonsense. Why live your life like this, sad.

      • Stick should get an endorsement from Ravi. He did almost everything Ravi wanted except resign his seat. Ravi wanted to hand it to one of his staff’s wife. Still, there’s no way Ravi will sit by and not unleash his Terror Flier Hate Machine against Branco even if it’s just for fun. Almost feel sorry for Joe.

        But then Branco turned a party committee vote into an HHA meeting with Russo supporters like Democrat Kim Glatt. What an absurdity.

        • You sound insane with this constant Rain Man terror flier nonsense.

          OK, end the speculation now: what evidence do you have linking the mayor with that flier? Give us factual evidence. Even just one bit. Any. Come on, you have a big mouth, so tell us. Explain how the mayor is connected. Tell us.

          You won’t, because you can’t, because there is no evidence, because the mayor had nothing to do with it. You repeat this nonsense because you’re attention seeking, and this is the only time anyone pays attention to you.

          • Nothing insane about the Ravi Terror Flier. It was deadly serious and a Hate Crime against Hoboken people. You’re a fool.

            Why are you crying about it? Ravi got away scott free. Guilty as hell, free as a bird. Local Union Ravi crime syndicate, FTW!

            Ask around City Hall. Get individual votes from the City Council. Then go upstairs and ask around. Everyone bloody knows. I mean everybody! Everybody but you, you dupe.

          • You can’t be this dumb. Remember you’re not stupider together when you Terror Flier together. You’re stronger together!

          • So once again, for the millionth time, neither one of you dingdongs (probably the same person) can provide ANY evidence of you accusation. Don’t tell us to “ask around City Hall”, you obviously know the factual evidence, so TELL US NOW.

            End the speculation: what evidence do you have linking the mayor with that flier? Give us factual evidence. Even just one bit. Any. Come on, you have a big mouth, so tell us. Explain how the mayor is connected. Tell us.

            You won’t, because you can’t, because there is no evidence, because the mayor had nothing to do with it. You repeat this nonsense because you’re attention seeking, and this is the only time anyone pays attention to you.

          • There’s no speculation. You were told.

            “Those that’ll tell don’t know, and those that know won’t tell.” You just tell but many know. Many.

            Let Ravi take a lie detector. He’ll fail, miserably! I’ll take any and ALL bets!

          • Still nothing. Because you have nothing. Because there IS nothing. NOTHING.

            Tell us. C’mon, why won’t you do it? Why won’t you give us your evidence? Why not? Go on, end it once and for all: tell us.

          • Stop pretending, no one believes you. You are clearly guilty with your boss because you profit from the hate crime against Hoboken! You’re definitely a party to the hate crime. Every nickel you are paid is dirty money. You are a purveyor of hate and a hate crime against Hoboken. We know!

            Cry more you lying POS.

          • I’ve got it! Your nutty terror flier obsession is EXACTLY like the “stop the steel” stolen election meme, and you are Hoboken’s Sidney Powell.

            You go on endlessly about crimes committed, are continually asked to produce evidence of said crime, and never ever do it, because there is none. The difference is Powell has made her “argument” in court cases, ALL OF WHICH were tossed out (many by GOP-appointed judges) as frivolous because of their COMPLETE LACK of evidence.


          • Cry more, Ravibot! You know and have the same evidence and it’s never, never going away. Just go across the hall and ask Vanessa. She can add to it.

          • Good afternoon, Hoboken Sidney Powell. Maybe we should go with HSP, or perhaps HoSiPo? Please let us know which you prefer, have to keep in mind what makes for a good social media hashtag.

            So yes, thanks for checking in HoSiPo with today’s “evidence” no-show. You’re keeping up a proud tradition of MAGA quacks and cranks who can’t face reality and make stuff up in a sad effort to paper over lonely lives.

            Have a good day, HoSiPo, hope you got some bottled water before the water main brook!

          • Wednesday greetings, HoSiPo. That’s a rather low-energy comment, nothing about terrier flyers this time? Well, there is a nonsensical reference to the mayor, so guess that will have to do for today.

            Catch ya next time, HoSiPo!

  3. Thank you Jack for saying the quiet part out loud about Republican complaints about VBM fraud. Fraud is good, they just need to learn how to do it better and who better to teach them than a guy so brazen about it that he got caught.

    And what better venue for that acknowledgement than a Joe Branco campaign launch. Joe ain’t the smartest guy out there but IMHO no-one knows how valuable VBM fraud can be to a local campaign more than he does.

    You really can’t make this stuff up.

  4. Looking forward to see how much money the local dems get to waste this time. If 50k is the going rate for a bhalla school board ticket let’s see what a commissioner seat costs.

  5. Approximately 60 years ago my Father gave me the following advice to accurately assess the character of someone. Listen intently to everything said with a look of distraction on your face; observe the going’s on around you and the body language of those you are observing and, don’t flaunt your intelligence. He said son, if you follow these 3 simple steps, you will be able to assess the character of anyone with pinpoint accuracy. I followed my Hero’s advice intently and for over 70 years I’ve never misread the character of anyone. Having spent all of those 70+ years in Hoboken (Hudson County), it’s been an incredible experience, especially when it comes to the characters of political leaders. For those of us who live in Hoboken and Hudson County, I’m sure they have realized that the selection of Mr. Ciatarelli for LT Governor is suspect at best. However, those unfamiliar with potential LT Governor, may want to do some deep soul searching before making their final decision. The character of the potential LT Governor is totally without any moral standards. Furthermore, except for losing every political office he ran for, he has little to no political experience to support holding such a critical position in our State’s Government. His millionaire’s status and his reputation for spending his wealth on his political aspirations, is the only reason I can see for Mr. Ciatarelli’s selection. His response (laughter) when questioned about the history of his selection, is a serious reflection on his own character. If he’s willing compromise his own character for financial support, what type of decisions may he be capable of as Governor? Already our potential LT Governor has demonstrated his total disregard for the law and our political system, one of his many character flaws. Integrity is an absolute essential element in our democracy and political system. These people have already demonstrated a lack there of. New Jersey needs people we can trust with our lives and best interests. Think with your brain and not with your behind before you pull the lever on Election Day.

    • It was a joke. It is the fourth word in the title. “jokes”

      The man he is referring to is a senior citizen who has some serious health issues and is still loved by many people in Hoboken. Mr. Citarelli’s words were not to be taken literally. If you watched the video, he said what he said due to the fact that senior citizen told Mr. Ciararelli, “I know a lot of people in the state, I would make a great LT Governor.” his friend then laughed and stated, “that’s true, but he would not pass the background check.”

      Mr. Ciararelli didn’t get the joke at the time but ran with the comment anyway to appease a senior citizen and get a chuckle out of room. As you can see everyone laughed and enjoyed it.

      • Pupie ain’t all bad. He did some good too. In fact, he’s a living idol of the Democrat Party. He was their unacknowledged leader living the Vote by Mail dream.

        Now the entire Democrat Party is built on the voting by mail fraud mechanism. They love it! Can’t get enough of Ballot Harvesting and hitting every old person, housing authority resident, and vote seller.

  6. I would like to hear exactly what he would do with funding for Hoboken schools -specifically.

    In the last race he talked about defunding certain programs for districts like Hoboken.

    I don’t know enough about this and I don’t want to make a statement that isn’t factually correct (and send Jack supporters down that rabbit hole instead of addressing the question)

    Is Jack in favor of defunding any aspect of the current Hoboken schools state package? Not sure if this statement by him during the last election referred to the Abbott district designation -that has now changed in name)

    If Jack plans to defund financing of any of the Hoboken schools funding package it is incumbent on the Hoboken Republicans to find out now and find out why and what impact that could have

    It’s at election that the most important lobbying with the candidate can take place to ensure Hoboken funding is not in jeopardy-if it is at all

    • The sad reality is that Murphy has cut millions of aid to Hoboken, every year our allocation goes down with the nail in the coffin being zero funding for the new HHS from the state. Jack can’t decrease funding when Murphy has already slashed it all. When the town signaled to Trenton that we can afford 300mil on our own, then it’s inevitable the aid stops.