The newly minted Republican ticket for governor and lieutenant governor attacked Gov. Phil Murphy for alleged indifference or mistreatment of women Wednesday, capped off by a stop at scandal-dogged prison for women in Hunterdon County.
Gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli, a former assemblyman, made official his selection of former Sen. Diane Allen as his running mate at two rollout events – first at the Burlington County Agricultural Center in Moorestown, then at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women just outside of Clinton.
“Diane Allen is a champion for equality and a trailblazer for women’s rights, respected by Democrats, Republicans and independents across New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said. “That stands in stark contrast to Phil Murphy, who has a troubling and shameful track record of repeatedly siding with powerful men at the expense of women who have been victims of abuse, harassment and rape.”
“This isn’t the first time that he stuck his head in the sand on an issue that involved women. But this one was just so egregious,” Allen said. “… And this is what he does. Whenever there are issues involving women in his orbit, where things are going wrong and women are being hurt or victimized, he turns away from it until the blowback hits him. And then maybe he’ll do something. We can’t wait for that.”
Allen cited other topics involving women, as well: Katie Brennan, the 2017 campaign aide who said she was raped by a colleague who was nevertheless hired by the administration; Julie Roginsky, a campaign consultant who complained of a toxic work environment in 2017; the handling of harassment claims at the U.S. Embassy in Germany when Murphy was ambassador; and management and living-condition problems with the women’s professional soccer Murphy owns.
“I mean, he treats women in a certain way, and it’s not a way that we ever want to see,” Allen said. “… There are a lot of very strong women in New Jersey, and I say we all must stand up and say that we will not stand for Gov. Murphy and his administration treating women the way that he has.”
Allen, a former reporter and TV news anchor in Philadelphia, was elected to the Assembly in 1995 and then the Senate in 1997. She won re-election to the Senate five times. But her first try for office was a bid for the Moorestown school board – in which she said she finished seventh in a six-candidate race due to write-in votes.
“They basically told me that I was too young. I’ve solved that one,” said Allen, 73. “They told me that I didn’t know how to play politics the right way. I still don’t. Don’t want to know. And they told me that it wasn’t my turn. Well, Jack says it’s my turn. It’s our turn. And we’re going to win.” (NJ 101.5, 8/4/21)