WILDWOOD – House candidate Hirsh Singh is taking few breaks in the final days of his primary campaign, hitting a full day’s slate of events on Memorial Day.
“Any minute not spent campaigning is a wasted minute when you’re in the final week or so,” Singh said. “We’re doing all different types of voter outreach. We’re making phone calls and attending events, depending on the day.”
It seems the latter was more in line with the strategy for Monday. Singh attended a ceremony in Absecon early in the morning, followed by a parade in Egg Harbor Township and a ceremony and procession in Wildwood. Still on the slate was a campaign event in Cumberland and a flag lowering in Cape May at sunset.
That’s not to say that Singh’s weekend was without rest. While Saturday was spent canvassing and campaigning around the district, the candidate did take a break on Sunday.
While a busy schedule could suggest a dose of healthy caution, it might also point to perceived worries about which way voters would break on June 5, but Singh expressed no such worries.
“We’ll have to see. It all depends on really the electorate is really concerned about the future or not. You’ll have more people turning out if they’re really concerned,” Singh said. “Usually when there’s an open seat, you would have a lot more turnout, but who knows. I’m not seeing any change in turnout as per traditional years, so I expect that we’ll be performing well.”
That measure of turnout was largely based on a smell test of feedback the campaign was getting from voters, Singh said.
Thanks to a $50,000 personal loan, Singh opponent Sam Fiocchi, a former assemblyman, led the Republican field in terms of warchest size. Fiocchi reported having $54,673.87 on hand on May 16 in FEC filings released on Friday, while Singh reported having $34,110.91.
Some of the district’s top Republicans have said privately that Singh would self-fund his campaign, but that idea was put to rest earlier this month when Sing’s financial disclosure showed that he had little personal wealth.
Singh on Monday again denied that he made such a commitment.
Still, Singh seemed to indicate that he was giving the Fiocchi campaign little of his attention.
“I’m focused on the voters. I don’t know what they’re doing,” he said, referring to Fiocchi’s campaign. “I don’t think that we’re campaigning the same way. My focus is on the issue. My focus is on what’s best for the people, and whatever they do or don’t do, that’s not my concern.”
Former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman and retired FBI agent Robert Turkavage are also seeking the Republican nomination.
But, even looking past the primary, Singh will likely need cash to contend with whatever candidate wins the Democratic nomination. State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, who is considered the Democratic frontrunner, has more than $400,000 in his war chest has been chosen by the DCCC for national party support.
Singh indicated that his strategy in the general would be to leverage Republican voters’ fears of losing control in the house to increase voter turnout – fears that elsewhere in the state Democrats are already using to drum up enthusiasm among their base.
“I think that the general’s going to be a very fun campaign that is going to be essentially the people against the machine,” Singh said. “We’re going to show them that with the right ideas, this district will remain in republican hands.”
The incumbent congressman for the last 24 years, Republican Frank LoBiondo, is not seeking re-election.