2020 GOP CD2 Primary Beginning To Shape Up

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By now our readers should be aware that Atlantic County Young Republicans Chairman Brian Fitzherbert officially announced his candidacy for Congress in CD2 earlier this week.

Fitzherbert made a run for the congressional seat a year ago before he was removed from the ballot.

It appears there is another candidate already in the race. Bob Patterson of Haddonfield who ran for Congress in CD1 against Donald Norcross in 2016 has launched a campaign website for CD2. Knowing Patterson lives in Camden County I thought when I heard he launched a campaign website he was going to run in CD1 again. So, I checked the website and he is clearly running in CD2:

Screenshot from Patterson’s  website

Screenshot from Patterson’s website

There is a third potential candidate in CD2. David Richter, who has formed an exploratory committee. Admittedly I wasn’t very nice to Richter in a past blog post, but the guy definitely has a good sense of humor. At a recent event in Salem County he was able to deal with me busting his chops. And, he shared a laugh with Fitzherbert at the event when I asked them to take a photo together and told them both it will end up on the blog at some point:

David Richter and Brian Fitzherbert

David Richter and Brian Fitzherbert

There are still rumors out there that last year’s nominee Seth Grossman and a real estate guy John Andrie are looking at running in CD2, since neither have announced anything they are still rumors.

If three is a crowd, does four or five become a mess?

It’s looking like 2020 is going to have an exciting primary season.

Will The Unofficial South Jersey Young Republican Organization Ever Get Its House In Order?

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I’ll start with a disclaimer: This post is NOT me taking a shot at young Republicans. It is me saying, once again, that the “leaders” of a rogue young Republican organization better start getting their house in order before they have a negative impact on the officially chartered young Republican organization.

To be clear, the South Jersey Young Republicans are not chartered and therefore not officially recognized by the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF). The Young Republican Federation of New Jersey (YRFNJ) is chartered and that means they are officially recognized.

Both organizations are fairly active on social media. The difference is the officially recognized group doesn’t post stupid stuff. The unofficial group tends to post stuff without bothering to gather facts, like the time the organization’s apparently self-appointed leader, Jenna Evans, made the false claim that Atlantic County Young Republicans Chairman Brian Fitzherbert tried to sabotage one of their events.

Evans’s claims were untrue, but that didn’t stop her, and others, from making the claim without checking the facts.

Well, it turns out Evans, or the person running her group’s Facebook page, still insists on posting things without checking facts. For example:

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Granted, Evans and her sidekick Hirsh Singh (more on that in a bit), were only about 2 or 3 years old when that man stood in front of a tank at Tiananmen Square, but a simple Google search would have told them the guy was not run over by the tank.

One would think the leaders of the rogue young Republican group would fact check before sharing such an image. Apparently not.

And, just because I promised “more on that in a bit” here’s how I know Singh is Evans sidekick. Back in March, shortly after I wrote my piece proving that Evans didn’t know what she was talking about when she accused Fitzherbert of “sabotaging” her Atlantic City event she reached out to my radio show co-host Bob Greco. She set up a meeting with Greco, coincidentally not far from my house, and she brought Singh to that meeting. Two peas in a pod!

Why make it a point to out Singh as Evans sidekick? Singh wants to be Governor/Senator/Congressman/Senator and one would think that a guy who wants to be elected to an office who also appears to be a leader of a rogue YR organization might at least make sure that organization checks facts before posting to social media.

If the leaders of the rogue YR group do take the friendly advice and start fact checking before posting to social media, maybe then they’ll start thinking before posting distasteful items to their Facebook page:

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While I completely understand they were going for humor when they shared the above post to the South Jersey Young Republicans Facebook page I believe Evans and Singh should have thought for a minute before posting. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks the post wasn’t the smartest thing to do:

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“You’re kidding right?” And, “Probably should have deleted before posting this one. Keep it classy kids,” sum up my thoughts.

Sharing posts like the one above, while amusing to some, do nothing to advance the Republican cause and puts the official young Republican organization in the state at risk of being lumped in with the rogue organization. The lack of fact checking and thoughtless post sharing is not fair to the young Republicans who did things the right way and got chartered.

So, South Jersey Young Republicans, before you negatively impact the actual chartered Young Republican Federation of New Jersey please get your house in order

Note To Insurgent Democrats: There’s No Whining In Politics

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This is probably the most boring Republican primary election season EVER in South Jersey. Because it’s so boring I’ve been watching the insurgent (“progressive”) Democrats in South Jersey, specifically Camden County. I’ve blogged about them twice, here and here.

I didn’t plan on writing about these insurgent Democrats again, but I stumbled onto this gem on social media:

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The Facebook post links to a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article. It’s a good article and basically has a bunch of “he said, she said” regarding petition challenges. Reading the article, and the above snapshot of a social media post, I had to laugh when I came to this:

“In what country can you remove from the ballot your political opponents? Norcross Country,” Rena Margulis, a progressive candidate for county clerk, said in a recent interview.

Candidates get thrown off the ballot all the time in elections in New Jersey (and other states). Just last year Brian Fitzherbert was bounced from the GOP congressional primary ballot and given the facts that (a) Hirsh Singh’s campaign manager “was present for the court proceedings” to remove Fitzherbert from the ballot and (b) “filer Christopher Coleman, a Galloway Republican, said he reviewed the petitions of candidates Sam Fiocchi, Seth Grossman and Robert Turkavage,” according to New Jersey Globe I believe it had nothing to do with being in “Norcross Country.” Quite the opposite, it had everything to do with Hirsh Singh being afraid of competition.

Fitzherbert didn’t whine. He supported the eventual winner of the primary and worked hard to build the Atlantic County Young Republicans and continues to help build other YR organizations.

I can guarantee that back in 2012 when Gary Smith got thrown off the ballot in New Mexico’s GOP 1st congressional district primary that it had nothing to do with “Norcross Country.” Smith did whine, in fact, being removed from the ballot angered Smith so much he became a serial tire slasher (video at the end of this post). As I was the executive director of the Bernalillo County GOP at the time I remember this being quite a huge pain in the ass, as was replacing a couple of tires.

Having said all that maybe there might be a “Norcross Country” connection to the petition challenges filed against the GOP freeholder candidates in Gloucester County, but they aren’t whining about it and are working hard to ensure they get enough write-in votes to have their candidates on the ballot in November.

And, so I don’t sound like a hypocrite I will state again what I wrote in this blog previously:

I get it, challenging the signatures on nominating petitions is a part of political campaigns in New Jersey (and elsewhere). It’s a part of campaigns I dislike. No campaign I managed has ever challenged nominating petitions – that’s how much I despise the practice. I believe working to remove a candidate who meets the requirements to run for an office from the ballot is a gutless move that proves the person challenging signatures on a nominating petition has very little faith in their chosen candidate to win on ideas.

My intent is not to critique the Philadelphia Inquirer article nor is it to defend “Norcross Country.” Seriously, my only purpose here is to remind folks, especially challenger candidates, “There is no whining in politics!”

The Philadelphia Inquirer article is clear, there are many insurgent Democrats still on the ballot:

Most of the candidates on the progressive slate are running for a seat on the Democratic Committee, which is involved in party business and endorsements. About two dozen other candidates on the slate are running for Assembly, county clerk, and mayor or council in the county’s three biggest municipalities — Cherry Hill, Camden and Gloucester Township — and six other towns.

Rather than whining that your freeholder candidates were tossed from the ballot maybe you should get to work for all your other candidates. Be like Brian Fitzherbert or the Gloucester County Republicans and work. Don’t be a Gary Smith!