Harry Hurley has learned and confirmed that Brian Fitzherbert will leave the race for the Republican Nomination in CD2.
Moreover, self-funding businessman David Richter appears poised to quit his CD2 bid and may instead
pursue the GOP nomination against incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3).
President Donald Trump’s backing of party-switching CD2 incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) proved too strong an obstacle for the other Republican challengers, with the exception of movement conservative Bob Patterson, who remains.
While Richter and Fitzherbert presumably shrank out off the contest, Patterson this week reinvigorated his assault on the incumbent, who last month changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican under the auspices of the president.
“In honor of the one-month anniversary of Congressman Jeff Van Drew’s infamous switcheroo, Van Drew used his liberal Democrat money to send out a political mail piece claiming to be a ‘conservative’ who will ‘build the wall,’ ‘defend our values,’ and ‘support our president,'” Patterson said.
“Conservative? Fighting for our values? Switcheroo Van Drew wouldn’t know conservative if it smacked him across the face,” added the candidate. “If Van Drew thinks he can con South Jersey Republicans into supporting him the same way he conned Adam Schiff into donating to his campaign, he’s in for a big surprise. Republicans can spot a RINO a mile away.”
It will be hard for the pro-Trump Patterson to gain traction against Trump’s hand-picked incumbent ally, however.
Richter’s move from CD2 to CD3 would jeopardize the existing Republican candidacies of Katie Gibbs, Tony Porto, and John Novak, and would come on the heels of Rosemary Becchi moving from CD7 to CD11 to avoid a clash with Tom Kean, Jr., and Larry Casha, originally a CD11 hopeful, dropping out to give Becchi a clear shot at incumbent U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11).