InsiderNJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of District Musical Chairs

Van Drew


Jeff Van Drew

A Democrat as recently as last month with the backing of President Donald J. Trump behind him now as a Republican, suffocated two dutifully GOP-identifying rivals out of the race and continued to amass GOP support in what now looks like an easy jog primary.

Laura Ali and the Morris County Republican Committee

The acting chair and her allies engineered the move to land the CD-7 positioned Rosemary Becchi as the CD-11 candidate against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11). Becchi may not win, but there was word this week from Morris that she’s certainly a better match-up than Larry Casha, who abandoned his own bid.

Kevin Walsh

With two decades as a civil rights attorney and as the Executive Director of the Fair Share Housing Center, where he led the enforcement of the Mount Laurel doctrine to promote racial and economic integration in New Jersey through the expansion of affordable housing, Walsh arrived this week to the state comptroller job as a respected pro.

Amy Kennedy

The CD2 Democrat received the backing of the Atlantic City Democratic Committee as she works to secure the oranizational support of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee at a March 8th convention.

Stephanie Schmid

Bernie Sanders Progressive Jim Keady’s formal exit from the CD4 contest (see below) puts former foreign service officer Schmid in a stronger position in the CD4 Democratic Primary to take on Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4).


George Gilmore

The once vaunted Republican chairman of the Ocean County Republican Committee this week received a sentence of a year and a day in prison for his conviction on two counts of failing to pay over payroll taxes withheld from employees to the IRS and one count of making false statements on a bank loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank N.A.

Brian Fitzherbert

The young South Jersey engineer (reportedly out of the contest as of today) is now 0-2 in CD2 Republican Primaries, having also lost 2018 bid for Congress, that time to Seth Grossman. But he could have a future as a legislative candidate, maybe in 2021.

David Richter

The word is labor-grounded Kate Gibbs is dug in on her CD3 candidacy, which makes millionaire businessman Richter – rumored to be hoveringg near CD3 – look like the interfering interloper. It wouldn’t look good for Richter to run from former Democrat Van Drew to pick a Republican Primary fight with Gibbs, who’s been in the BurlCo GOP vineyards.

Jim Keady

Once the seaside darling of the left, the CD4 candidate, who exited the contest late last week, bowed out amid a hail of hectoring hecklers, ironically trailing the memory of his own press conference needling of then-Governor Chris Christie, who told Keady to “sit down and shut up.”

Larry Casha

The former Kinnelon councilman is at least 0-3 now in attempts to move up, having lost an LD26 assembly bid to Jay Webber in 2007, losing to Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce in a convention bid for the late Alex DeCroce’s LD26 seat in 2012, and now exiting to make way for Rosemary Becchi in CD11.

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