David Richter has defeated Katie Gibbs for the Republican nomination in Congressional District Three.
The Ocean portion of the district (16,566 Ritcher; 4335 Gibbs) looked too daunting a challenge for the Burlington-backed Gibbs to overcome even as her backers held out hope for scratch-back into the game numbers in her home county.
Richter irritated members in his own party when he pivoted from his original intentions of taking on incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew to instead focus on U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) when Van Drew changed parties from D to R.
But he did so with the imprimatur of the machinery close to President Donald J. Trump, infuriating Gibbs, who found herself suddenly in a very tough primary with a financially well-connected opponent who had tentacles in to the White House.
When Richter landed the Ocean County line he turned into it into an Ocean v. BurlCo foot race, eventually powering past Gibbs on the strength of Ocean and his ability to deplete his rival on her home turf.
“I know Richter didn’t have much infrastructure in Burlco but has a lot of support/ground game in Ocean,” a source told InsiderNJ earlier today. “Gibbs seems to get mixed reviews in Burlco and has little name ID [surprisingly] but who knows. It’s a mail-in ballot and ‘turn out’ should be interesting.”
It was, but in the end not sufficiently fascinating for Gibbs to power past the establishment-constructed Richter.
Gibbs issued the following statement tonight following her defeat to Richter:
“Tonight’s election didn’t have the outcome I had hoped for but I am extremely proud of the race we ran. While I move on to the next chapter of my life, I will continue to fight for what is right and stand up for conservative principles. I will always be grateful for the support of all those who stood by and with me.
It’s the hundred year anniversary of women’s suffrage and, sadly, Alice Paul’s home has never been represented by a woman in Congress. While the loss hurts, I hope my campaign helps to inspire and encourage other women to challenge the good ‘ol boys club, run for office, and make sure their voices are heard. I want little girls to grow up believing they can come from humble beginnings and can serve in the hallowed halls of Congress.”