Former Hainesport Mayor Tony Porto, who had briefly sought the GOP nomination for Congress in the 3rd district earlier this year, has endorsed Dave Richter for the nomination.
Richter, a former construction company executive, faces former Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs in the July 7 Republican primary for the chance to take on freshman Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton).
“As our nation faces many daunting challenges, I am certain David’s business experience and conservative principles will help America see better days ahead,” said Porto, a former GOP municipal chairman. ”David is the most qualified Republican candidate for Congress. His plans for tax relief and economic growth will benefit Burlington County in many ways.”
Richter has the GOP organization line in Ocean County, and Gibbs has the party endorsement in Burlington. Ocean produced 52% of the total votes cast in the last Republican primary.
After winning an upset victory at the Ocean County GOP convention – Gibbs had won the recommendation of the party screening committee – Richter has picked up other Burlington endorsements, including Hainesport Committeewoman Lee Schneider.
Burlington County GOP Chairman Sean Earlen criticized Richter for accepting the endorsement of Porto, who lost re-election after posting a misogynistic meme on social media.
“David Richter touting Tony Porto’s endorsement is Exhibit “A” why he’s a disaster general election candidate for Republicans. Porto was run out of office and the local GOP for voting to give himself taxpayer-funded health benefits for a part-time job and being a double-dipper. Then he doubled down by posting a misogynist meme that effectively called one of his female political opponents a slut,” Earlen said. “Good to see David Richter has such high standards for the endorsements he touts. Good luck with that kind of messaging with suburban women and taxpayers in November. The bottom line: The GOP nominating a carpetbagger, failed businessman like David Richter, who embraces misogynists like Tony Porto, all but guarantees a second-term for Andy Kim.”
Another candidate, Barnegat Mayor John Novak, has also dropped out and endorsed Richter.
This story was updated at 11:59 AM with comment from Earlen.