TRENTON – In one of those only-in-New Jersey moments in politics, state Democrats are going after Republican gubernatorial nominee Jack Ciattarelli for opposing cursing.

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee today released a digital ad with a humorous take on Ciattarelli’s support in 1994 – including a vote 27 years ago today as a Borough Council member – for an ordinance that banned public profanity in Raritan in Somerset County.

The borough’s police chief said he wouldn’t enforce the ban, which came with penalties of up to $500 and 90 days in jail for “noisy, rude or indecent behavior, by using profane, vulgar or indecent language, by making insulting remarks or comments to others″ on public streets or places.

The Democrats’ tongue-in-cheek ad includes seven people, identified as real New Jerseyans, swearing when reacting to the Raritan ordinance. It’s an online ad but not airing on television.

Democrats said Ciattarelli defended the ban, telling the Home News Tribune that “when four-letter expletives are used that violates an individual’s right to a civil and tranquil environment,” and doing an interview on CBS This Morning. And they said the cursing ban is a symptom of Ciattarelli being willing to endorse extreme social positions.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at

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