One of the Donald Trump’s top political allies in New Jersey says that Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) could face a primary challenge if he doesn’t stop bashing Trump.
Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers says that when Republicans like Bramnick bash Trump, they hurt the GOP brand.
“Our party must return to its conservative roots-roots that are embedded in the Constitution,” Rogers told the New Jersey Globe. “I have been all over New Jersey and I find a hunger and thirst among Republicans as well as conservative Democrats and independents for a return to the values we embraced years ago.”
Bramnick, who faces a potentially tough re-election bid next year in a district that is becoming increasingly more Democratic, has been critical of Trump’s governing style, calling him abrasive and divisive.
“In the case of Bramnick, I like him. But he is going down a road that will cost him his seat,” said Rogers, a 2017 gubernatorial candidate who is now on the advisory board for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. “He will never win Dem or Independent votes by appeasing them via bashing Trump. In fact, he is in the process of losing GOP grassroots support because of his rhetoric.”
While Trump’s statewide approvals are upside-down (42%-55%), among Republicans he has a job approval rating of 92%-5%.
Rogers said that while some may disagree with Trump’s methods, Republicans view the president as “very successful in addressing our needs and advancing conservative values.” He said Republicans should “embrace, not distance” the party from Trump.
“A true conservative can defeat him if he doesn’t change his tune,” Rogers said of Bramnick. “The GOP needs unity, not division. I view the losses NJGOP suffered as a golden opportunity to focus on rebranding our party.”
Bramnick has not faced a primary challenge since 2009.