Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers, a member of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign advisory board, took aim at former congressional candidate Seth Grossman after the latter sent an email calling the national and state GOP “clueless.”
“The only one clueless here is Seth Grossman,” Rogers said. “I know for a fact that the NJGOP from the State Committee to every county Chairman is working hard to elect Republicans statewide for the 2019 and 2020 election cycle, including President Trump.”
In an email sent via Liberty and Prosperity, a conservative group led by Grossman, the former candidate blasted the Republican National Committee and the state GOP for attempting to recruit candidates from outside the district to run against Rep. Jeff Van Drew.
“They are now persuading two completely unknowns to move to South Jersey to run against Van Drew next year,” Grossman said in the email. “They are duping them into thinking they have a better chance of winning here than in their home districts. National and NJ GOP leaders are now saying last year’s election was close because Van Drew was weak. They refuse to admit the truth: That I and MAGA ideas were strong!”
Grossman did not mention either candidate by name, though it appears he is referring to Bob Patterson, a former congressional candidate in New Jersey’s first congressional district, and self-funder David Richter.
There’s little to suggest either candidate is seeking to challenge Van Drew at the behest of party leaders.
Former Atlantic County Young Republican Chairman Brian Fitzherbert is also seeking the Republican nod. He ran last year but was knocked out of the race after a challenge to his nominating petitions dropped him under the threshold needed to run for Congress.
Last year, Grossman lost to Van Drew by a little more than six points after running a full-throatedly pro-Trump campaign that drew little support from state and national party leaders.
The Republican National Committee rescinded its endorsement of Grossman after reports highlighted comments in which the former candidate called diversity un-American, among other things, not long after his primary win.
Reached by phone, Grossman declined to comment on Rogers’ statements.
“Mr. Grossman needs to understand that you Make America Great Again by helping build the RNC and NJGOP, not tear down our hard work for all of our candidates and President Trump’s MAGA agenda,” Rogers said.