Republican State Chairman Bob Hugin says his party is operating on all cylinders in New Jersey as the GOP seeks to score wins in key congressional and county commissioner races across the state.
“Money matters. Activity on the ground matters. In the end, issues and candidates probably matter even more than that,” Hugin said. “But we’re doing the combination of all these things, and I don’t think we’ve ever had the kind of concentrated, coordinated effort from the Republican National Committee, the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee , from PACs and super PACs. The coordination is spectacular.”
Hugin called President Joe Biden “one of the greatest gift to the Republican Party — and we’re going to exploit that every day.” He insisted that Donald Trump, as a former president, is not an issue in the 2022 mid-term elections.
Instead, Hugin outlined the issues he thinks New Jerseyans will vote on in November: “Inflation. Inflation. Inflation. Affordability. Affordability. Affordability. Crime. Crime. Crime. Education failures. Government overreach.”
“It’s the current president that is really damaging our country today, and Andy Kim and Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer and Tom Malinowski and Frank Pallone and all the rest of them, they have to answer the why do they support those policies that have led to such terrible outcomes and inflation and crime and education,” Hugin said. “They’re responsible for that relationship. And a voter is going to make them be held accountable for that.”
Hugin, a Summit resident who ran for U.S. Senate in 2018, mocked an internal poll released this week by Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in New Jersey’s 7th district that shows him tied with Republican Tom Kean, Jr., 48%-48%.
“I always joke when Tom Kean gets elected in seven and he comes (up) for re-election, if his campaign ever tells me they have a poll that shows him tied, I’d be really worried that it must be four, five, six, eight behind,” said Hugin. “So Malinowski saying he’s tied is a pretty sad, sad commentary.”
During a conference call on Friday with reporters, Hugin pushed back on Malinowski’s strategy of making the U.S. Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe v. Wade the cornerstone of his re-election campaign.
“Inflation is such the issue,” Hugin said. “The guy votes with Nancy Pelosi despite the district being a more moderate, very different district, the way he votes and you can’t campaign on stuff.
Hugin didn’t dismiss abortion as an issue but insisted it’s not at the top of the issue matrix.
“Women’s rights are so important to me that I fight for those all the time, and so as does Tom Kean. But the people want to hear about crime. What are you going to do to stop crime? What are you going to do about inflation? What do you do about education? What are you going to do about government overreach? That’s what our candidates can talk about. If somebody wants to talk about abortion or anything else, we absolutely should talk about it … but I’ll tell you, the prioritization you see in the polls, the issues are inflation, crime, education of the top, top, top, top. And there’s no connection with anything else. Those are the issues that people want to talk about?
Republicans have installed full-time field staffers in Cumberland and Gloucester counties, where control of county government is at stake, and in Burlington, Somerset, Passaic and Bergen counties, where they think they can win countywide races that potentially set up control electioons in 2023.
According to Hugin, New Jersey Republicans have “knocked on over 800,000 doors, made over 4 million phone contacts.”