Two Burlington County assemblymen running against each other in the Republican primary are duking it out over their support of President Donald Trump.
Joe Howarth (R-Evesham), running off the line with a MAGA slogan after losing party support for re-election, has challenged former running mate Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) to sign a pledge to support Trump.
Peters pushed back on Howarth’s tactic.
“As a Navy SEAL who has deployed for multiple combat missions in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, I have faithfully served multiple Presidents, including President Trump, and would do so again in a moment’s notice,” Peters said. “I don’t need to sign a political pledge to prove my commitment to the Constitution and Commander-in-Chief. I’ve done it every time I’ve left a secure base in the middle of the night, in a faraway land, to defend our flag.”
Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield is running for the 8th district Assembly seat on a ticket with Peters.
Republicans have accused Howarth of attempting to switch parties earlier this year, around the same time State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) did.
Howarth has steadfastly denied that and is now running as a Trump supporter.
“I understand that kind of loyalty and sense of purpose is lost on someone who, as soon as the going got tough for Republicans in Burlington County, did everything he could to bail on our party and begged the Democrats to take him in,” Peters said.