Long before he announced his congressional exploratory committee and before making his candidacy in CD2 official there was a lot of talk in GOP circles about David Richter having the ability to self-fund a run for congress.
I never really cared about how much money someone else earns, but when it comes to Republican candidates I do care about alleged self-funders simply because sometimes it appears, at least with some members of my party, the ability to self-fund is a prerequisite.
In CD2, specifically, I care about talk of a self-funding candidate because, as we all know, many folks talked about the ability of Hirsh Singh to self-fund a congressional campaign last year because they were too stupid to figure out that he couldn’t use his father’s money like he did when he ran for governor. There were many folks unhappy after learning Singh couldn’t self-fund.
Thanks to last year’s mess, now when I hear “a millionaire is getting into the race,” any race, I’m skeptical. Besides, sometimes in South Jersey the word millionaire is loosely defined by the Democrats. I’m old enough to remember the Democrat’s negative ads attacking former Cumberland County Freeholder, Prosecutor and Surrogate Art Marchand as “Millionaire Marchand.” He was a client back in 2009 when he and George Shivery lost the Assembly primary “after a split in the Gloucester County Republican Party” screwed up the entire election year. Trust me, Marchand was no self-funder!
So, mostly because of last year I decided to check and see if the newest of the announced candidates, David Richter, really can self-fund a campaign.
I had no doubt Richter has some money as his children and my client U.S. Senate candidate Tricia Flanagan’s kids attend the same private school where per child tuition is about the same as the MSRP on a new Ford Edge.
The first thing I did was went to the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives website to check financial disclosure forms. Unfortunately, Richter hasn’t filed yet, so off to Google I went.
Because I am not a total a$$hole I will not post the exact number I found, but I will say Richter is worth a lot more than the owner of my favorite diner and a lot less than multi-millionaire Bob Hugin. Granted, that’s a big range, but trust me, he ain’t hurting.
According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Richter was doing quite well, with a seven figure annual income, before leaving Hill International:
Richter received some pretty decent “other” compensation at Hill International too, including more than a $56,000 car allowance and over $21,000 in country club fees.
Not only did he earn a nice salary, but as recently as May 31, 2017, Richter, in a letter to the Board of Directors of Hill International, Inc. made it clear that he “…and certain other members of the Richter family. Collectively, we own approximately 10.6 million shares, or 20.4%, of the outstanding common stock of Hill International, Inc.” I don’t know exactly what 20.4% of Hill International is worth, but I do know it’s many millions of dollars.
When it comes to Richter, there is no doubt he can self-fund. In fact, if he comes into the studio to appear on The Bob & Steve Show we might suspend our practice of paying for our guest’s breakfast and make him pay for our breakfast.
And, speaking of paying for breakfast for our guests, next time another CD2 candidate, Brian Fitzherbert, does our show he can pay for his own breakfast.
After reviewing Fitzherbert’s Financial Disclosure Report as filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives I’m re-thinking the time he asked me how much I would charge to do a congressional campaign in CD2 and my answer of “more than you can afford.”
Fitzherbert doesn’t have Richter money, but he definitely has more than formerly alleged self-funder Singh. At 30 years old Fitzherbert owns three houses worth between $250,001 - $500,000 each, he’s also got a 401k, an IRA and earns more than $100,000 per year.
There is little doubt that Fitzherbert could come up with some cash for his campaign if he needed to.
The third announced candidate in the race, Robert “Bob” Patterson, according to his Financial Disclosure Form as filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives owns nothing, except for what appears to be a joint bank account worth between $100,001 - $250,000. I doubt he’ll be funding his campaign, especially considering he lists unemployment compensation of $8,600 as part of his income.
It’s clear the two frontrunners for next year’s GOP congressional primary will not be underfunded in their campaign to put the 2nd congressional district back in the Republican column.
Bob and I, which means mostly ,I will continue to research the candidates to help our fellow Republicans avoid getting stuck with a weak candidate next year.
Note: While Bob has endorsed Brian Fitzherbert for next year’s CD2 primary, Steve is completely neutral and making no endorsement