Republicans gathered in Atlantic City over the weekend for their 2019 Statewide Leadership Summit. I didn’t go, I generally don’t go to these type events. Honestly, I considered it after several people asked me to, but my brother had surgery Friday and family comes first.
Everyone I spoke with who attended said it was a good event, so kudos to Chairman Doug Steinhardt and his team on a good event.
One thing happened at the event that seems to have a lot of folks talking. David Wildstein at the New Jersey Globe broke the news that Millionaire David Richter is considering a self-funded run for Congress in CD2 against Congressman Jeff Van Drew.
And, based on his Facebook page, it appears Mr. Richter really is considering a run:
Always the pessimistic anti-establishment guy my first thought on hearing the news Richter is considering a run for Congress was, “Here we go again,” establishment Republicans are falling in love with a candidate because he has a lot of money, no vetting, no nothing, just money.
Don’t get me wrong, Richter might be a nice guy, he might even be a good candidate, but he’s never lived in CD2. He lives in Princeton, his Facebook page says he’s from Cherry Hill and the New Jersey Globe piece says he grew up in Burlington County. So, what does he know about CD2?
All things being equal, I’d rather have Hirsh Singh. Singh may not have the kind of money folks thought he had, but at least he’s from the district, knows the district and has a little bit of name ID.
Then there’s Seth Grossman, another guy from the district who knows the district and held the race against Van Drew closer than most expected. While Grossman lacks a big bank account, he still has some organizational strength and name ID.
Brian Fitzherbert didn’t take his ball and go home after taking a shot at Congress last year. Quite the opposite, he’s built an active Young Republican organization, he’s well-liked, smart and folks know his name. There are folks who want to see him run.
I don’t know if Singh, Grossman or Fitzherbert want to run, but their names have been talked about throughout the district.
There is a real estate guy, John Andrie, who wants to run. He’s been making phone calls, but I don’t know much about him. Does he have money? One source says he has a little, another says he doesn’t. So, who knows?
So, back to Richter. Why does a guy with a sizeable bankroll who lives in CD12 want to run in CD2? Is he afraid to take a shot against U.S. Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman? Personally, I would like to see someone with lots of money challenge her. If nothing else, her money would have to stay in her district.
Unfortunately, what I would like to see doesn’t matter, it rarely does. What I do know is that if Mr. Richter is serious about running in CD2 he has a lot of convincing to do and it’s going to take more than, “I have a lot of money in the bank” to convince me.
So, Mr. Richter, consider this an invitation to call-in to the Bob & Steve Show and introduce yourself to the voters of CD2. We have 50,000 listeners and 30,000 something monthly readers who would love to hear from you.
Until then, in the words of the Beatles:
“Tell me that you want the kind of thing that money just can't buy
I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love
Can't buy me love, love
Can't buy me love”
But maybe, it can buy a US House seat.