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From left, State Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Point Pleasant), Assemblyman David Wolfe (R-Brick) and Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (R-Toms River).

Holzapfel staying out of CD3 primary despite earlier endorsement

Senator says Gibbs endorsement only applied to county convention

By Nikita Biryukov, March 05 2020 4:52 pm

State Sen. James Holzapfel is staying out of the Republican primary in the third congressional district.

“I don’t endorse anyone in primaries,” the senator said.

Holzapfel and his Assembly running mates, Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano, endorsed former Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs after she received the support of the Ocean County Republican screening committee.

“We endorse her 100% and will be voting for her at the Ocean County GOP Convention on March 4th,” the three said in late February.

Now that Gibbs has lost the party line in Ocean, Holzapfel is pulling away, saying that he doesn’t want to wade into a contested primary.

He insisted his earlier endorsement of Gibbs only applied within the organization’s race, not the entire intra-party contest.

“Nobody wins in a primary, as far as I’m concerned,” Holzapfel said. “Now, the voters will decide, but within the organization, I endorsed Gibbs, but there’s a difference in my mind between that and endorsing in a primary.”

Richter would have remained in the race even if he lost organizational lines in both of the district’s counties.

Gibbs already has the line in her home county.

“I’m staying in this thing until June 2nd,” Richter said before vote totals were announced Wednesday.

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