The path for Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R-Evesham) to win a third term has narrowed considerably, with 14 of 15 Republican municipal chairs from the Burlington County portion of the 8th district now supporting incumbent Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) and Sheriff Jean Stanfield for State Assembly.
Atlantic County Freeholder James Bertino (R-Hammonton), who had endorsed Howarth two weeks ago, says he is now backing Peters and Stanfield.
“Now that the screening process is completed, I will be supporting the ticket of Peters and Stanfield,” Bertino told the New Jersey Globe. “They came to our meeting. Many of us like what we heard.”
Bertino said that Peters and Stanfield have amassed strong support in Hammonton, the only Atlantic County municipality in the district. He said he believes the votes are there to give them both wins at the county GOP convention later this month.
That leaves Howarth with the backing of just one municipal chair, Abigail Bargar of Pemberton Township, after being dropped from the Republican ticket amidst suspicion that he considered joining State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) in switching to the Democratic party.
Howarth had released a letter on February 18 announcing the support of eleven municipal chairs. Ten of them have now signed a letter endorsing Peters and Stanfield.
“As municipal chairs, we know the importance of having a strong and trustworthy ticket from top to bottom,” the fourteen chairs wrote in a letter to Burlington County Republican Chairman Sean Earlen that was obtained by the Globe. “We look forward to supporting Stanfield and Peters at every step of the process from the convention, through the primary, and into the general election.”
The recruitment of Stanfield, the six-term sheriff and one of the county’s most popular vote-getters, was a game-changer for the Republican organization.
Howarth did not immediately respond to a 2:36 PM call seeking comment.Burlington GOP chairs March 9 2019