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The Ocean County screening committee met on Saturday, Feb. 15th to screen the candidates for US Senate, US Congress in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Districts, County Freeholder and County Clerk. The Ocean County screening committee recommendations to the floor of the organization’s convention on March 4th will be: Rik Mehta for US Senate, Congressman Jeff Van Drew for the 2nd Congressional District, Katie Gibbs for the 3rd Congressional District, Congressman Chris Smith for the 4th Congressional District, Joe Vicari for County Freeholder and Scott Colabella for County Clerk.
Chairman Frank Holman said he thanks everyone who participated in the screening process and thanks the screening committee for their recommendations.
The main contest in question on the day was CD3, where candidates John Novak, Anthony Porto, David Richter and Gibbs competed for the the screening committee’s support.
Considerable attention surrounds in particular the candidacies of Gibbs and Richter.
Gibbs already has the backing of the Burlington County Republican Comittee. Her victory over Richter for the support of the screening committee comes ahead of a critical convention at which time the party organization will award the line to one of the four candidates.
Originally a candidate for Congress in the 2nd District, Richter dropped out of that contest when U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) changed his party affiliation to run for reelection as a Republican instead of a Democrat.
He landed in CD3, where he intends to buy a house to run in the general election against U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3), but Gibbs’ win today put him at an apparent disadvantage heading toward the convention next month.