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.

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!

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.