Bob and Kathy Hugin, Laura Overdeck and Candy Straight have formed a federal super PAC that will help Kate Gibbs oust Rep. Andy Kim in New Jersey’s 3rd district.
The super PAC, Jersey Real, will seek to build the Republican party by “supporting strong candidates who represent the diversity of our party and state, can win tough races, and will serve New Jersey well.”
“That includes making sure Republican women running for office have the support they need,” the Jersey Real founders said. “This election cycle Jersey Real will work to help elect Kate Gibbs in NJ-3 because Kate has proven herself to be a committed public servant and built a solid track record of standing up for New Jerseyans.”
Hugin is the former CEO of Celgene, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical manufacturer. He spent $36 million of his own money in a bid for U.S. Senate in 2018. Straight, a film producer, is a longtime GOP fundraiser who served on the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and ran for Essex County Executive in 2002.
Gibbs was the front runner for the chance to take on Kim in a Republican-leaning Burlington-Ocean district, but the race was upended in late January when former Hill International CEO David Richter dropped his challenge to Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew in the 2nd district and switched races.
A 34-year-old labor leader and former Burlington County freeholder director, Gibbs appears to have regained the lead after winning a vote of the Ocean County GOP screening committee. The Ocean organization line will be awarded at the county convention on March 4.
Gibbs won the Burlington organization line last December.
“As one of the youngest women ever elected to countywide office, Kate cut taxes and enacted policies to make communities safer and guarantee equal pay for equal work,” the super PAC organizers said. “She is the candidate who can win in November and she will make a great Representative.”