Former Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi will seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd district. The news was first reported by SaveJersey.com.
Fiocchi is the sixth candidate to enter the GOP race for a House seat held for the last 24 years by a Republican, Frank LoBiondo.
Republicans had struggled to find a replacement for LoBiondo, who announced his retirement last November. State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis) quickly entered the race and is considered the front-runner to flip the seat to the Democratic column. Van Drew, a right-of-center Democrat, faces three opponents in the primary.
The 65-year-old Vineland resident was elected Cumberland County Freeholder in 2010. He lost a bid for the State Assembly in 2011, but won a 2013 rematch when he unseated Democratic incumbent Nelson Albano. He lost his seat two years later to Democrat Bruce Land.
Last month, software engineer Hirsh Singh switched from the U.S. Senate race to the contest for LoBiondo’s seat with some assurances from party leaders that he would be the organization candidate. Fiocchi may be better positioned to wrestle the organization line in Cumberland, Cape May and Salem counties.
Singh, who sough the Republican nomination for Governor in 2017, has promised party insiders that he would self-fund his campaign. Last year, he spent $1 million — all from a loan from his father — to win 10% of the statewide GOP primary vote.
Also seeking the nomination: former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman, Somers Point Councilman James Toto, retired FBI agent Robert Turksavage, Brian Fitzherbert, Mark McGovern, and John Zarych.