Brian Fitzherbert has run for office three times, and while his name has never been on a ballot, he’s been carrying a $27,279 campaign debt for over two years with no apparent effort to pay his debts.
Fitzherbert, 33, first came on the scene in 2018 as a candidate for the GOP nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd district. That was the year Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor) was retiring and six Republicans were in the race to take on the likely Democratic nominee, State Sen. Jeff Van Drew.
He won the Gloucester County organization line that year but was tossed from the ballot after falling seven signatures short of what he needed to qualify. Rival Hirsh Singh had challenged his petitions.
He rejected a chance to run for State Assembly in an Atlantic County-based district in 2019 – he said he was congressional material – and instead entered the race to take on Van Drew.
But after Van Drew switched parties, Republican leaders sought to clear the field and Fitzherbert, whose fundraising numbers were sluggish, dropped out of a race he couldn’t afford to run anyway. At the time, he was facing self-funder David Richter. He had raised just $37,162 in 2019.
Debt retirement has been nearly impossible for Fitzherbert and it’s not clear that he’s even trying. He raised nothing in the first half of 2022.
In 2021, Fitzherbert received just one check: $1,000 from Jeffrey Reichle, the chairman of Lund’s Fisheries in Cape May. He used most of the money a few weeks later to pay McCauley & Associates, a Utah-based campaign accounting and compliance firm he owed money to.
After dropping out of the 2020 race, he raised just $2,250, including Tzedukah donations from gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli ($500) and Republican State Chairman Bob Hugin ($250).
Nearly two-thirds of Fitzherbert’s debt is to Amanda Woloshen Glass, a prominent New Jersey political consultant. He owes her $17,600. Axiom Strategies, a national political consulting firm run by Ted Cruz’ 2016 campaign manager, Jeff Roe, is owed $5,000 by Fitzherbert.
He also owes $2,900 to a New Yor City engineering firm, EME Consulting, for fundraising consulting.
His campaign account has $745 cash-on-hand. To put that into perspective, the Fitzherbert warchest is 0.0053214285714286% of what Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) has in the bank.
Fitzherbert, the Atlantic County Young Republican Chairman, did not respond to a 9:37 AM text message seeking comment or a 2:24 PM message left on his cell phone