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Brian Fitzherbert
Brian Fitzherbert

Gloucester GOP backs Fitzherbert for LoBiondo seat

South Jersey congressional race wide open for Republicans

By David Wildstein, March 14 2018 11:20 am

Brian Fitzherbert, a 28-year-old engineer for a defense contractor, has won the GOP organization line in Gloucester County in his bid to succeed Frank LoBiondo in Congress,

Fitzherbert is the fourth candidate to win one of the eight county lines in the contest for the open 2nd district House seat.  Self-financing software engineer Hirsh Singh has the lines in Ocean and Burlington, former Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi (R-Vineland) has the organization endorsement in Cape May, and Somers Point Councilman James Toto won the Salem County Republican convention last Saturday.

Gloucester made up 13% of the vote in the 2016 Republican congressional primary, when LoBiondo ran unopposed.

Two big counties have not yet held their conventions: Atlantic, which has 33% of the Republican primary voters, and Cumberland, which is 11%.  Camden, which cast just 528 votes in the last House primary, has also not yet awarded their line.

Singh, who has told party leaders he will contribute $2 million toward his congressional campaign, had previously sought the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.  To clear the field for Bob Hugin, party leaders coaxed him out of that race with the promise of support for LoBiondo’s seat.

Ocean and Burlington counties stepped up to endorse Singh, who spent $1 million on a bid for governor in 2017.  But Ocean is just 10% of the total primary vote, and Burlington cast only 199 votes total in LoBiondo’s last primary.

Fiocchi, a one-term assemblyman and former Cumberland County Freeholder, was a late entrant into the race.  Cape May, where he will run on the line, makes up 21% of the district’s primary vote.

Four other Republicans are seeking the seat held by LoBiondo since 1994: former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman, retired FBI agent Robert Turksavage, attorney John Zarych, and Trump activist Mark McGovern.

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