Guadagno, Ciattarelli among N.J. GOP gubernatorial field expected to file petitions

 Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli are vying for the Republican nomination in the New Jersey governor's race. (AP file photo, left, jack4gov.com, right)

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli are vying for the Republican nomination in the New Jersey governor's race. (AP file photo, left, jack4gov.com, right)

Monday at 4 p.m. is the filing deadline for candidates who want to run in New Jersey’s primary on June 7.

Political analysts expect a battle for the Republican nomination for governor.

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno has won the endorsement of GOP organizations in 10 counties to get favorable placement on the primary ballot, and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli will have that coveted designation in seven counties.

Montclair State University political science professor Brigid Harrison said Guadagno has the upper hand now, but Gov. Chris Christie’s low approval ratings could affect the outcome.

“Even among Republicans, you do see some dissatisfaction with the Christie administration,” Harrison said. “And if they hold this against her, she could be in for a bit of a trouble.”

Guadagno now has more name recognition among voters than Ciattarrelli.

Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin said that advantage could fade.

“He hasn’t started spending money in a serious way on television advertising,” Dworkin said. “I’m sure that will happen as we head into late April and May, and as that happens his name recognition will dramatically increase.”

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