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Republican congressional candidate John Barker. (Photo: John Barker).

Barker switches from race against Kim to primary vs. Van Drew

By David Wildstein, December 29 2021 9:30 am

John Barker will switch from 3rd district to the 2nd and challenge Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in the Republican primary after the redistricting commission moved his hometown of Bayville into the GOP congressman’s district.

“I am going to represent my District, and the conservative values of my Party,” stated Barker.  “The incumbent Representative just abetted Joe Biden and the Democrats by voting for a $1.2 Trillion ‘noninfrastructure bill’ and he needs to be held accountable to the American people.”

A businessman and U.S. Army veteran, Barker had been seeking the GOP nod to take on Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), but redistricting has now taken Kim out of Ocean County entirely.

“This gerrymandered redistricting is an embarrassment to the Democratic Party, as they try to protect a weak Andy Kim.,” Barker said.  “However, I will take this opportunity to continue this fight for America.  ‘We, the People’, is not only my slogan, it is the reason that I’m running.”

Barker is the second Republican to join the race against Van Drew in the primary.  Scott Hitchner, Jr., a U.S. Air Force veteran and gun rights advocate, is also seeking the GOP nomination.

After switching parties in late 2019, Van Drew secured endorsements from then-President Donald Trump, who came to Wildwood for a rally on the congressman’s behalf.  All eight county Republican organizations

This story was updated at 7:55 PM.  A previous version listed Barker’s hometown as Point Pleasant. He grew up there but las lived in Bayville,  in the 2nd district portion of Berkeley Township, for 30 years. 

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