Seth Grossman is trying to fundraise by painting his opponent, State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, one of the most conservative Democrats in the state’s legislature, a “radical Democratic puppet.”
“Job-Killing Jeff, is a radical social justice warrior, pro-illegal immigration, pro-Obamacare, pro-tax hike liberal State Senator who the Democrat king-makers have tapped to now run for Congress,” Grossman said in a campaign fundraising email that urged recipients to donate as much as they could at once.
But, portraying Van Drew as a liberal is a hard sell.
The pro-gun, right-of-center Democrat has previously voted against gay marriage and has frequently sided with industry interests on environmental issues. He also voted against the initial and final versions of this year’s state budget, citing their numerous tax hikes as one of his main reasons for doing so.
It’s precisely because of that less-than-liberal record that Van Drew faced several challengers running far to his left during his primary.
Van Drew easily won that contest and is considered a strong favorite for the race in November.
Grossman had been fundraising off of coverage of inflammatory statements he’d made in the past, including ones calling diversity “un-American” and Kwanza a fake holiday.
His doubling down on those statements might have reached the point of diminishing returns, as the new strategy is a little bit more specious, especially since Van Drew has won reelection in his dominantly-Republican legislative district since 2002, meaning that the voters there are likely at least somewhat familiar with him and his positions.