Home>Campaigns>Former Christie aide faces competitive race in today’s New Hampshire congressional primary 

New Hampshire congressional candidate Matt Mowers. (Photo: Matt Mowers for Congress).

Former Christie aide faces competitive race in today’s New Hampshire congressional primary 

East Brunswick’s Matt Mowers attempting to fend off right-wing challenge

By Joey Fox, September 13 2022 11:38 am

Today is Election Day for Matt Mowers, a former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who is running for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st congressional district.

Mowers, who lost to Rep. Chris Pappas (D-New Hampshire) in 2020, faces a number of Republican primary opponents in his bid for a rematch, most prominently former White House Assistant Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt. Mowers has held a small lead over Leavitt in most recent polling, with other candidates – including former journalist Gail Huff Brown and State Rep. Tim Baxter – further behind.

Mowers worked on Christie’s 2009 and 2013 gubernatorial campaigns as well as in Christie’s first-term administration; in 2013, he departed New Jersey to become executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party and lay the groundwork for Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign.

After those ambitions foundered, Mowers joined the administration of President Donald Trump, before eventually returning to New Hampshire for his 2020 congressional bid.

Mowers’ ties to Christie, who has become a prominent Trump critic within the Republican Party, have earned him some rebuke from his opponents, who say he isn’t conservative enough.

“Where’s Matt going to fall?” Leavitt spokesperson Topher D’Anna said in March, shortly after Christie visited New Hampshire. “Is he going to side with his former boss … or is he going to follow through on what the people of New Hampshire want, someone who believes in the America First agenda of President Trump?”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), however, has resolutely stuck by Mowers’ side; the Congressional Leadership PAC, an independent group affiliated with McCarthy, has sent mailers on Mowers’ behalf. National Republicans appear worried that Leavitt – labeled by one attack ad as a “Woke Gen Z-er” – would jeopardize Republican chances in the swingy seat.

If Mowers does manage to win the primary and the competitive November rematch against Pappas, he could be in line for higher office down the line. When Republican Gov. Chris Sununu eventually decides to retire, or when Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s seat comes up for election in 2026, a hypothetical Rep. Matt Mowers would undoubtedly be a top contender for either office.

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