Rizzo a ‘Never Trumper’? NJ rival says pastor didn’t vote for Trump in 2016
New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Phil Rizzo on Saturday shared a photo of him with former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago. But the conservative pastor apparently was not always a fan, according to a video posted by a Republican rival.
Primary candidate Hirsh Singh posted a video on his Twitter account that ends with Rizzo saying, "I voted third party in 2016." The context of the video or it's source are not clear in the tweet.
"He's a never Trumper just like @Jack4NJ," Singh said, referring to primary frontrunner Jack Ciattarelli.
Rizzo also tweeted in July 2015 that Trump was "not currently my first choice" but liked his views on traditional marriage, strong borders and his pro-life stance.
The Rizzo campaign on Monday morning did not respond to a request from New Jersey 101.5's seeking comment about the video or his picture with Trump.
Rizzo is one of four GOP candidates running in the June 8 primary to face incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy in the fall general election. He is appealing a decision denying his application for public matching funds because he filed late and did not meet the required spending threshold.
Rizzo was at Trump's Florida golf club on Wednesday. The event was a fundraiser for Missouri Rep. Billy Long who is considering a run for U.S. Senate. Tickets started at $2,900 per person, the Springfield News-Leader reported.
“Wednesday night, at Mar-a-Lago, I was reminded of what happens when the people rally behind a candidate that is up against a corrupt establishment. New Jersey 2021 can be a redo of 2016 if.....WE THE PEOPLE!" Rizzo said on social media. He did not say if he spoke to Trump about a possible endorsement.
Rizzo held a fundraiser at the Trump National golf club in Colts Neck on March 25. New Jersey 101.5 morning host Bill Spadea was the event's emcee.
Ciattarelli has previously called Trump an “embarrassment” to the country although he has softened his stance and attended Trump's political rally in Wildwood in January 2020. He also spoke at a "Stop the Steal" rally at Trump's Bedminster golf club in November but told New Jersey Monthly magazine the event "turned into something else after I was there."
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