Listen to audio version of this article
BRIDGEWATER – Governor Phil Murphy has dropped into this sprawling suburban town twice in as many days, but Republican State Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt says it’s the Democratic governor chasing the Republican chairman not the reverse.
“We’re outworking him,” said Steinhardt.
Moreover, Steinhardt told InsiderNJ, Murphy is loathe to leave his comfort zone – which includes Somerset – to campaign with Democrats in South Jersey, the regional center of that wing of the Democratic Party opposed to Murphy.
“He should be [campaigning in South Jersey],” the state party chair said. “You can’t write off the state either. It’s a big state.
“It’s a diverse state,” he added.
Steinhardt was in town at the side of Republican mayoral candidate Matt Moench, who’s running hard in Bridgewater. The men appeared at a senior center this morning not far from where Murphy joined Democrats for a canvassing rally yesterday, and very close to the local high school where the Democrat will make an appearance this afternoon.
Once a sure-shot Republican town, Bridgewater is competitive this year, as Moench – who vanquished incumbent Mayor Dan Hayes in the GOP Primary – seeks to stem Democratic candidate Jeff Brookner tomorrow.
But Steinhardt said Murphy can only selectively campaign in those areas friendly to the governor, who leads a fractured party, which is, in fact, warring with itself over party leadership.