A Republican State Senator Who's Critical Of Trump Enters Race For New Jersey Governor

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey state Sen. Jon Bramnick, a longtime Republican lawmaker and a critic of Donald Trump, launched a campaign for governor on Saturday.

The 2025 New Jersey governor's race is already taking shape with candidates in both parties jockeying to succeed Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who cannot run again because of term limits.

Bramnick, an attorney in private practice, was elected to the state Senate in 2021 after serving in the Assembly for nearly two decades, including a stint as minority leader.

Bramnick has been one of the most critical Republicans of Trump in the Legislature, saying that the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection hurt the public's trust in the GOP.

It's unclear to what extent he could appeal to hardcore Republicans in a primary.

According to local media, Bramnick announced his candidacy Saturday at the Stress Factory comedy club in New Brunswick, where he's performed before.

Also in the race is former Assembly member Jack Ciattarelli, the 2021 party nominee who lost to Murphy by single digits. Ciattarelli said after his close defeat that he would run again in 2025.

On the Democratic side, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and former Senate President Steve Sweeney are high-profile contenders.