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Is this #@!$ New Jersey? Democrats mock Republican Ciattarelli over cursing ban

Is this #@!$ New Jersey? Democrats mock Republican Ciattarelli over cursing ban

The New Jersey governors race just had a real What the #@!$? moment.

The state Democratic Party released a vulagrity-laced digital affidavit Monday, criticizing Jack Ciattarelli, the Republican running to replace Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in next months election, for voting nearly three decades ago to oppose censorship.

Yes, that whole sentence is true.

Ciattarelli was a member of the Raritan Borough Council in 1994 when it adopted legislation to ban profanity in the tiny Somerset County town. The ban could be enforced with a $500 fine, 90-day jail term, or both.

The issue drew national attention back in the day. Ciattarelli told CBS This Morning that the councils single purpose was to provide a certain quality of life that Raritans not only want, but also expect.

Now, the 27-year-old story has become encapsulated in an unexpected issue in the Nov. 2 governors race: which candidate is more Jersey.

Murphy, a Massachusetts native, has been mocked by Ciattarelli for his Red Sox fandom, the way he eats pizza, and for vacationing in Italy instead of the Jersey Shore, of course.

The new 30-second ad from the Democratic State Committee, which has attracted national media attention in the last two days, suggests Ciattarellis vote for the cursing ban is an affront to one of Jersey's favorite #@!$-ing pastimes.

People are asked if they know who Ciattarelli is in the man-on-the-street-style clip. They dont a nod to polling that has shown that many voters arenre familiar with the former state Assembly member.

The people, who the state party claims are not actors, are then told about the anti-swearing measure.

Youre sh**ing me, says one woman.

Aww. Thats kind of nice, according to one. F**k no.

Another criticizes this as "f**ing New Jersey."

(The swearing is thinly censored in the spot.)

Ciattarelli is now outside the mainstream, according to Democrats, and the ban shows just how far he has come from the mainstream. Murphy supporters have been sharing the video on social media, with one Democratic operative updating people on Twitter with how many views (more than 700,000 as of Tuesday afternoon) and how much national attention its received.

Fans of Ciattarelli dismissed the ad as unintentional. His campaign claims it reflects Jersey stereotypes.

Jack is living rent-free in Governor Murphys head, Ciattarelli adviser Chris Russell said. Phony Phil from Massachusetts is desperate to act Jersey, and I guess he thinks that putting on the state's worst stereotypes is the way to do it. Whats next auditioning to replace Ronnie on Jersey Shore next season? If thats the case, Id suggest that he go back to his Italian Villa after a loss and work on that tanning.

RELATED: Murphy and Ciattarelli square off in the final governors debate in New Jersey tonight. Here's how to watch and what to know.

Murphy's actions in Jersey have been criticized by Ciattarelli for not taking Jersey seriously, despite the fact that Murphy and his family have lived here for more than two decades.

Hes not New Jersey, Ciattarelli, a lifelong Somerset County resident, said in June after winning the Republican primary. How about we elect a Jersey guy?

Murphy isnt known for cursing, either at least not in public. He sounds more Midwestern than Massachusetts, of course. In 2018, the governor said he was mad as hell about state power outages.

And his take on the cursing ban?

Murphy tweeted about Ciattarelli on Monday, referring to Ciatarotti as a knucklehead," despite his famed profanity-avoiding technique.

Murphy and Ciattarelli are set to meet at 8 p.m. Tuesday night, the two sides will discuss their second and final televised debate.

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Brent Johnson can be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @johnsb01.

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