A Republican county chairman from New Jersey today slammed former Gov. Chris Christie for interfering in the 3rd district congressional primary.
“It’s too bad party leaders like former Governor Christie ignore qualified candidates like Kate Gibbs who have come up through the ranks and earned the chance to run due to their hard work, loyalty and experience,” Hunterdon County GOP chairman Patrick Torpey said on Friday. “He should remember where he came from and try giving Kate the same chance and encouragement Governor Kean gave him.”
Torpey told the New Jersey Globe that after issuing his initial statement, he he discussed the race with Christie.
“After speaking with Governor Christie, he indicated his efforts were focused on clearing the field for Jeff Van Drew in CD2,” Torpey said. “He did not encourage David Richter to run in CD3 and has not taken a position on the race.”
The Globe has reported that Christie was tasked by the White House with clearing the way for Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) to secure the Republican nomination in the 2nd after he switched parties last month.
As a result, Christie met several times with self-funder David Richter, the former CEO of one of the country’s largest construction companies, to convince him to challenge freshman Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton) in the 3rd district instead.
Kim’s Republican challenger was supposed to be Kate Gibbs, a 33-year-old union leader and former Burlington county freeholder director.
Christie has worked to secure support for Richter in Ocean County, which has the most registered Republicans in the two-county district.
“That said, it’s time for GOP leaders to stand up. The fascination for candidates whose sole attribute is their bank account needs to stop,” Torpey said. Our party leadership needs to support candidates like Kate Gibbs who came up the ranks and give them the chance to run due to their hard work, loyalty and experience.”