Posted: Aug. 3, 2017 12:55 am
HAMPTON — Despite a low member turnout typical of late-summer gatherings, the Skylands Tea Party was full of energy on Wednesday night due to the group’s guest speaker.
Constitutional Party gubernatorial candidate Matt Riccardi brought his message of “Liberty, Integrity, and Prosperity” to Sussex County and told the attendees he was running for the state’s highest office because “New Jersey is at a pivotal point.”
“I stepped up to the plate because I knew New Jersey was at a really bad point in its history,” Riccardi said. “I didn’t realize how bad it actually was.”
Riccardi, 30, of Neptune (Monmouth County), is a Marine and married father of three who runs a business started by his father. He said his choice to run for governor was based on a desire to reform the system of corruption that he believes permeates every level of government in the state.
“New Jersey is the most taxed state in the country and the most in debt,” he said, questioning how the state could take in so much revenue and still not be able to pay its bills. “Something doesn’t add up. I think it’s time for a change.”
The cornerstone to Riccardi’s bid to become the 56th governor of New Jersey is a “legally binding contract” he’s making with the people. The contract, Riccardi said, will legally require him to keep his campaign promises or face a monetary penalty, which he said he will pay out of his own pocket. Riccardi said he’s contacted the campaigns of Democratic candidate Phil Murphy and Republican candidate Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to make the same pledge, but hasn’t received a response.
“Kim and Phil are liars,” Riccardi said. “They know the promises they’ve made have nothing to do with their job.”
As an example of such a promise he’s willing to take to the bank, Riccardi said he would veto any tax increase that’s passed, regardless of what the revenue is slated to fund.
The high-intensity Riccardi said the people of New Jersey deserve better than two candidates “who don’t represent them,” and as someone who has already sworn to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution he vowed to fight for the people.
“I don’t care if you love me or hate me, I will fight for your rights,” he said.
Riccardi also touted his strong Christian faith and is adamantly pro-life. He said he would donate his governor’s salary to any charity, chosen by the people, which reflected that position.
As for the state’s lagging economy and “worst in the country business climate,” Riccardi said his jobs plan would provide opportunity to small businesses to thrive alongside large corporations in New Jersey by eliminating government fees, taxes and regulations.
Riccardi is one of five independent candidates running for governor in November. The other four are Green Party candidate Seth Kaper-Dale, Libertarian candidate Pete Rohrman, former Long Hill Mayor Gina Genovese and Vincent Ross.
Riccardi admits that one of the two major-party candidates will “likely” win in the fall, but he said he believes his candidacy will energize those who feel they have to choose between the “lesser of two evils.”
“We have been afraid for far too long,” he said, “and look what it’s brought us.”
More information about Riccardi and his campaign can be found online at: www.r4nj.org, or his Facebook page: Riccardi4NJ.
David Danzis can also be contacted on Facebook: ddanzisNJH, on Twitter: @ddanzisNJH, or by phone: 973-383-1274.