A fourth candidate is seeking the Republican nod in the eighth legislative district, potentially complicating the intra-party feud spawned by State Sen. Dawn Addiego’s defection to the Democratic party and Assemblyman Joe Howarth’s attempt to join her there.
Jason Huf, an attorney practicing business law, has joined Howarth, Assemblyman Ryan Peters and Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield in seeking the Republican nod, but unlike them, he’s not necessarily running to win.
Huf, a political newcomer and a first-time candidate, said he was running more for the good of the district than to see himself elected.
Even if his candidacy is unsuccessful, he said, he hopes to raise issues that’ll survive into the general election, where he predicts Stanfield and one of the two incumbent assemblymen will face Democratic candidates Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale.
The race in the eighth district will likely be one of the closest and most closely-watched races in the state. The district is growing more Democratic, though the party hasn’t won an election there since the state adopted the 40-district map in 1973.
In 2017, Peters won his seat by just 350 votes. Howarth secured 170 more votes than peters.
Huf is aiming to get at least 800 votes. That’s not a massive number by any means, but in an off-year election where Assembly members are at the top of the ticket, it might be enough to significantly cut into another primary candidate’s vote share.
That isn’t Huf’s goal, nor does he intend to attack any of his fellow candidates.
Such attacks wouldn’t do much to help the Republican party come November, he said.