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.

It Appears At Least One Republican Is Getting Serious In CD2

David Richter via Facebook

David Richter via Facebook

I wasn’t planning on writing anything about CD2 today, but since New Jersey Globe and InsiderNJ have both broken the news that David Richter has formed an exploratory committee to challenge Congressman Jeff Van Drew here we go.

Admittedly, I wasn’t very kind the first time Richter appeared on the Bob & Steve Show radar, but that was only because I do tend to be a pessimistic anti-establishment kind of guy.

I assume Richter announced this exploratory committee via press release, but I guess my pessimistic anti-establishment attitude left the Bob & Steve Show off his press list. I won’t allow that to cloud my judgment and whenever he wants our 50,000 listeners to meet him Mr. Richter is welcome on the show.

I do agree with what both, New Jersey Globe and InsiderNJ report Richter said:

“New Jersey is quickly becoming a one-party state, and that party continues to move leftward towards socialism.  We need elected representatives in Congress who will fight for less government, lower taxes and free markets, and who will protect our individual rights and constitutional liberties,” said Richter.

While it appears Mr. Richter is saying the right things, he does have work to do. There’s been a lot of talk that Hirsh Singh, Seth Grossman, Brian Fitzherbert and some real estate guy John Andrie are all looking at CD2.

Singh, Grossman and Fitzherbert all have some name recognition in the district and all have at least some sort of organization which puts them ahead in a ground game if Richter really is in this.

The one thing Richter appears to have that the others don’t is enough money to self-finance if he must. While there are some that aren’t exactly thrilled that a guy they never heard of with a lot of money appeared out of nowhere to get into this race all that talk could stop as soon as checks start being written. Money does tend to buy some love in GOP primaries.

If the last CD2 primary proved anything it proved the party line can be beaten in crowded GOP primaries which means if Richter and the others are in it could come down to organization. Of course, money can buy organization.

Now that Richter is making some serious noise about getting into this race other Republicans considering it will likely start making moves.  

For now, I’m going to make an effort to be a little nicer to Richter and reserve judgment until we learn more about the guy. Who Knows, maybe he’ll come on the show.

Money Can’t Buy Love But Maybe It Buys A US House Seat

David Richter (from Facebook)

David Richter (from Facebook)

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:

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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.