The race to succeed Chris Christie as governor of New Jersey is heating up as the June 6 primary election looms. On the mornings of Thursday, March 30, and Friday, March 31, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association will host two successive “meet the candidate” sessions. The March 30 event will feature State Senator and Democratic candidate Raymond Lesniak. On March 31 Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, a candidate for the Republican nomination, will appear.

Both sessions run from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the NJBIA headquarters, 10 West Lafayette Street, Trenton. The cost is $50, $35 for NJBIA members. For more information visit or call 800-499-4419, option 2.

Lesniak, a 1971 graduate of Rutgers University who earned his law degree from St. John’s in 1974, served in the State Assembly from 1978 to 1983, and has been in the Senate since 1983. Lesniak has sponsored the Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act (ECRA), the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Pesticide Control Act, and Tax Incremental Financing Act, designed to help the state attract private investment and jobs. Lesniak has been a supporter of marriage equality.

He currently chairs the Senate Economic Growth Committee, serves as vice chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, and is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Ciattarelli, who will appear at the NJBIA on Friday, March 31, has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since December, 2011. In addition to his legislative work, Ciattarelli is owner and publisher of Galen Publishing, a medical publishing company. He has formerly worked as a CPA and was the co-founder of several medical journal publishing companies. He was also an adjunct professor at Seton Hall from 1998 to 2001.

Raised in Raritan, Ciattarelli graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.S. in accounting and an M.B.A. in finance. He served on the Borough Council in Raritan from 1990 to 1995 and was the council president from 1991 until 1995. He was also elected to the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 2007 to November, 2011, when he resigned to become an assemblyman.

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