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Former Hill International CEO David Richter has raised $413,000 for his bid to unseat freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis) in New Jersey’s 2nd district.
He has put $300,000 of his own money into the campaign.
Richter, one of three Republicans looking to take on Van Drew, finished his first six weeks of fundraising with $390,000 cash-on-hand.
“It is imperative that our party nominates a candidate who can run a well-funded, first-class campaign against Jeff Van Drew, who is one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Congress,” said Richter. “Despite running as an alleged conservative Democrat, Van Drew has voted with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez nearly 90% of the time.”
Richter spent 22 years at Hill International, the construction firm founded by his father in 1976. Hill grew to become the 8th largest construction company in the United States.
Republicans think Van Drew, unbeatable during his seventeen years in the New Jersey Legislature, is vulnerable after winning a surprisingly unimpressive 53% against former Atlantic County freeholder Seth Grossman last year.
The right-of-center Van Drew could also face a primary challenge. The 65-year-old former state senator won the Democratic nomination with 57% against three progressive challengers.
Donald Trump won the 2nd district by 14,830 votes (50%-46%) in 2016 and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin carried it by ten points last year.
The freshman congressman raised a massive $637,835 during the second quarter of 2019, a haul that is likely to put him near the top of House freshman fundraising nationally.
After raising just $120,556 during his first three months as a congressman, Van Drew has rebounded. He has taken his cash-on-hand from $80,099 to $545,633 since April 1.
Richter accused Van Drew of “voting against the interests of small and family-owned businesses, he is voting against the interests of law-abiding gun owners, and he is voting against the interests of working families.”
“The citizens of South Jersey need a real conservative in Congress who will work hard for smaller government, lower taxes and secure borders, and who will fight to protect, not undermine, their constitutional rights,” said Richter.
In the race for the GOP nomination, Richter faces former Atlantic County Young Republican Chairman Brian Fitzherbert and controversial former Trump administration official Robert Patterson. Retired U.S. Navy Captain Brian Glackin is also considering a bid.