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Former Collingswood Board of Education member Claire Gustafson

Gustafson wins Camden organization line

Field seems to be clear for challenge to Norcross following Duvall withdrawal

By David Wildstein, January 09 2020 9:40 am

Claire Gustafson will have the organization line in Camden County in her bid for the GOP congressional nomination in New Jersey’s 1st district against Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden).

The field appears to have been cleared for Gustafson, a former Collingswood Board of Education member, after her only rival dropped out of the race this week.

“Earlier this week Josh Duvall announced he ‘decided to drop out of the race’ in CD1,” Camden County Republican Chairman Rich Ambrosino said. “While I wish his exit was more graceful this does mean there is no longer a reason to screen candidates in CD1 and avoids what could have been a costly primary.”

This is the second organization line for Gustafson, who lost a GOP House primary in 2014 and a race for Camden County freeholder in 2019.  She won the Burlington County line late last year.

“Claire is the ultimate team player. She’s provided financial support to the party and our candidates. She has repeatedly stepped up for our party, she’s held local office, serves as the municipal chair in Collingswood and chairs Camden County’s Republican women organization,” Ambrosino said. “She’s fought the tough fights and knows what it takes to challenge South Jersey’s political machine and has a network in place to build a winning campaign organization.”

Republicans haven’t won the 1st district House seat since 1972, when Rep. John Hunt (R-Pitman) was re-elected to his fourth term.  Jim Florio (D-Runnemede), then an assemblyman, unseated him in the 1974 Watergate landslide.

The 1st district has 239,768 Democrats and 77,714 Republicans.  Norcross was re-elected with 60% in 2016 and 64% in 2018.

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