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Republican businessman David Richter just made it official in CD3.
“I decided last year to run for Congress in the Second District for one simple reason: Republicans need to retake their majority in the House so we can support President Trump and continue the historic progress America has seen under the President’s leadership and I wanted to be part of that effort,” said Richter. “Needless to say, no one could have anticipated Congressman Van Drew’s party switch last month, but now that we have an incumbent Republican congressman in the Second District, I am withdrawing from the race effective immediately and will be joining President Trump in supporting Congressman Van Drew’s re-election.
“After speaking this past week with party leaders, elected officials and voters throughout the Third District, it is clear that the stakes couldn’t be higher and Republicans can’t afford to swing and miss on defeating Andy Kim this November,” Richter added. “Therefore, I have decided to pursue the Republican nomination to represent the Third District in Congress to ensure that our party has the best possible candidate in order to win this seat back.
“I was running in the Second District to support the President and put a Democratic seat back in Republican hands, and that has been accomplished,” the candidate said. “We need to do the same in the Third District, but with even greater urgency, because Andy Kim has put his radical views and support or Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ahead of the citizens of South Jersey.”
Richter’s decision to back out of a Republican Primary in CD2 puts him on a collision course with Kate Gibbs, who’s already in the Republican Primary in CD3.
“Anyone who thinks they can push me around doesn’t know anything about South Jersey women,” Gibbs said on Monday. “I was raised by a single mom who taught me how to stand up for myself and never back down from a challenge. To our party leaders who like to talk about empowering and supporting young Republican women to run and serve, well, here I am.”
That sounds like a competitive CD3 Republican Primary, or the opposite of CD2, where the decks are all but clear for Van Drew.
Richter has lifelong ties to the Third District, which includes most of Burlington and Ocean counties. He grew up in Willingboro and Cherry Hill. Later he worked for more than 20 years at his family business, Hill International, located in first Willingboro and then Evesham, growing it from a small struggling business with less than 300 employees into a global public company with more than 4,300 employees. An engineer, lawyer and businessman, Richter is the former CEO of global construction management firm Hill International.
A lifelong Republican, he grew up in and has spent most of his life living and working in South Jersey. He earned two bachelor’s degrees and a law degree from Penn as well as master’s degrees from Oxford and Harvard. Richter and his wife Michelle, who have been married for 20 years, are the parents of four daughters.