Former New Jersey political operative Matt Mowers has raised more than $100,000 from New Jersey donors—about one-third of his total fundraising haul — in his bid for a congressional seat in New Hampshire.
Among Mowers’ largest donors is his former boss, former Gov. Chris Christie. Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, each contributed $5,600 to Mowers. Christie’s federal PAC also donated $5,000.
Mowers reported raising $354,484 since entering the race for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st district, where Democratic incumbent Chris Pappas is seeking re-election to a second term. He has $316,891 cash-on-hand.
Much of the New Jersey money came after a March event Christie hosted in Cedar Grove that brought members of the old gang together in support of Mowers, who worked in Christie’s intergovernmental affairs office and on his gubernatorial campaigns.
Christie had been scheduled to headline a Mowers fundraiser in New Hampshire last month, but it was cancelled due to travel restrictions connected to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Christie aides and political advisors helping Mowers include former Christie chief of staff Richard Bagger, political advisor Michael DuHaime, aides Charles McKenna, Peter Sheridan, Joe Hathaway, Sarah Neibart, Theresa Winegar, Christina Renna, Amanda DePalma, and Rosemary Iannacone.
Mowers also received contributions from Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, former Rep. Tom MacArthur, and Jack Ciattarelli, the only announced GOP gubernatorial candidate against Gov. Phil Murphy next year.
State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) contributed $1,000 to Mowers, who started his political career as a teenager working on Cardinale’s re-election campaign,
Essex County GOP Chairman Al Barlas, Somerset County GOP Chairman Al Gaburo, former Somerset County Chairman Dale Florio, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale), and Assemblymen Christopher DePhillips (R-Wyckoff) and Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff) also sent contributions to Mowers. So did Michael Soliman, a Democratic strategist and top political advisor to U.S. Senator Bob Menendez; Mowers used to work for Soliman at Mercury Public Affairs. Ronald Gravino, a New Jersey Turnpike Authority commissioner and a the top treasurer for GOP candidates across the state for the last 30 years, is also one of Mowers’ funders.
He even got the notoriously stingy Republican National Committeeman from New Jersey, Bill Palatucci, to cough up a $1,000 personal check.
Mowers was working on the 2013 re-election campaign when he accepted a post as executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
Exporting Mowers to New Hampshire was all part of a plan to help Christie get a foothold into the first-in-the-nation primary two years early. A top Christie advisor with relationships in New Hampshire had strongly lobbied then-New Hampshire GOP State chair Jennifer Horn to hire him.
Mowers ran Christie’s New Hampshire primary campaign.
He later joined the 2016 Trump campaign as National Field Coordinator & Battleground States Director.
Mowers served at the U.S. Department of State as a senior White House advisor and as chief of staff and chief policy officer in the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy.
Pappas won an open seat by a 54%-45% margin in 2018 following the retirement of Rep. Carol Shea Porter. Trump won the district by a 48%-46% margin in 2016.