House candidate Sam Fiocchi think’s his path to victory runs through the airwaves, or, more specifically, through voters’ cable lines.
Fiocchi will begin airing a TV ad on Wednesday on perhaps the most influential channel in conservative politics – Fox News. The 30-second spot, which will air on the network’s morning show, Fox and Friends, will run up until primary day, Fiocchi said.
While he offered scant details about the ad’s content, he did say that the ad would, in part, push him as a candidate that could beat the “best Democrats had to offer” and as one that had already done so. Over the same time, Fiocchi will launch a series of radio advertisements targeting Republican primary voters in the second district.
But the technological efforts aren’t the only ones Fiocchi is undertaking. On Monday, he attended a slew of Memorial Day ceremonies, including ones put on by Upper Township, Ocean City, Somers Point and Cape May County.
“I’ve learned over the years – this is my 6th campaign – that when you agree to a campaign, you’re almost always in campaign mode, it’s just more intense at times than others, and I got into this race late. It was really March when I got in, so it has been nonstop since then,” Fiocchi said. “I attend events anyway normally, so it’s almost the same as what I do. I lose track of all the places I go.”
Fiocchi, previously an assemblyman and Cumberland County freeholder, said that he has kept in contact with the county’s various municipal Republican organizations.
He’s banking on the name recognition those connections and his previous posts as an elected official provide to help him through the primary, but he’s not taking anything for granted. Experience, he said, has made him wary.
“You can never take any opponent lightly. You always have to be on your toes,” Fiocchi said. “I’ve done this, like I said, this is my sixth time, so you always have to know who your opponent is and know their strengths and their weaknesses. I feel pretty good about this primary. I think I’ll come out on top here.”
That wariness extends to more than just Hirsh Singh, who won four of the district’s eight party lines. Just one county, Cape May County, broke for Fiocchi.
Fiocchi views Seth Grossman, a former Atlantic County freeholder, as a potential challenge, referencing the frequency of Grossman signs – Fiocchi lauded his own campaign’s volunteers for the placement of his signs as well – and his recent radio appearances.
But the Republicans aren’t Fiocchi’s only opponents in this race. Should he win the nomination, he’ll have to face whichever candidate gets the Democratic nod.
Despite the field on that side being as wide as it is on the Republican side, Fiocchi considered State Sen. Jeff Van Drew the presumptive Democratic nominee.
That feeling has yet to be confirmed as fact, but Van Drew has made a name for himself as a right-of-center Democrat that holds a traditionally-red legislative district, a strength given that retiring Rep. Frank LoBiondo has held the second congressional district’s seat for 24 years.
What’s more, Van Drew had more than $400,000 in his war chest in mid-May, an amount that makes Fiocchi’s $54,673.87 look like a trifle.
On that front, Fiocchi said that he had received commitments for more donations in the general, though he also said that candidates, not cash, win elections.
“Before any kind of a primary, you have to know, more than likely, you’re facing Jeff Van Drew,” Fiocchi said. “He’s a tough candidate. I think he’s been a poor elected official, but as a candidate, he’s a strong candidate. When my team did the analytics, we felt that there was a path to victory. Otherwise, I would not have entered this race.”