Following an Associated Press report from earlier this week that New Hampshire’s 1st congressional candidate Matt Mowers voted twice in the 2016 primary season – once in New Hampshire, and again in New Jersey four months later – one of his Republican primary opponents, former Boston TV reporter Gail Huff Brown, is seeking to draw further attention to Mowers’ New Jersey ties.
“Revelations that Matt Mowers committed voter fraud under federal law by voting twice in different states in the same primary election raise difficult new questions for the candidate from New Jersey,” Huff Brown said in a press release.
Mowers, a former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, moved to New Hampshire in 2013 to become executive director of the state Republican Party before switching to lead Christie’s presidential bid in the state.
After Christie lost the primary and exited the presidential race, Mowers had a choice: stay in his adopted home in New Hampshire or return to New Jersey. He chose the latter, taking a job at a New Jersey public affairs company, and remained in the state and in Washington D.C. before returning to New Hampshire for a failed congressional bid in 2020.
“New Hampshire hosts the First in the Nation primary and attracts hundreds of out-of-state election workers like yourself every presidential election cycle,” Huff Brown said in a statement directed at Mowers. “After the primary concludes, most of them will pack their bags and go home after losing, like you did, or carry on to the next round of primaries. Under the false logic you rely on, all of them should be able to vote in New Hampshire and then again and again as they traverse the country.”
Huff Brown also questioned whether Mowers directed other staffers for Christie’s presidential campaign to vote twice in 2016, further tying Mowers to the Trump-skeptical former governor.
“As New Hampshire state director for the Chris Christie campaign, did you direct other imported staffers on your payroll in the state to commit voter fraud by voting in the New Hampshire primary before returning to their home states to also vote there?” she asked.
Under federal law, it’s illegal to vote twice in the same year for the same contest. Technically, Mowers could have abided by this law if he skipped the presidential race on his New Jersey ballot and only voted in downballot primaries, but he has made no indication this was the case.
The statute of limitations has expired, however, and Mowers faces only the risk of political consequences, not legal ones.
Before the AP reported on Mowers’ double vote, another candidate in the 1st district primary, former assistant White House Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt, attacked Mowers over his connections to Christie and New Jersey.
“Where’s Matt going to fall?” Leavitt spokesperson Topher D’Anna said in March. “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?”
Fresh off his general election loss to Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) in 2020, Mowers is considered the frontrunner in the Republican primary, though the AP story could reshape the race. Pappas won by five points in his first matchup with Mowers, but New Hampshire’s congressional boundaries have not yet been finalized, and some proposals would make the 1st district significantly more Republican.