Assemblyman Joseph Howarth (?-Evesham) lost party support for re-election when Republicans concluded earlier this year that he had conspired to switch parties along with State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham).
Now the GOP doesn’t even bother including him as one of their own.
In a fundraising solicitation today expressing outrage over salary increases at New Jersey Transit, the New Jersey Republican State Committee noted that “all 25 members of the Republican Assembly voted no on (Gov. Phil) Murphy’s pork-filled budget.”
The GOP appeared to reduce their census by one, after winning 26 seats in the last election.
But the calculation was deliberate.
“We don’t consider him to be a Republican anymore,” said Harrison Neely, a spokesman for the state party.
Howarth lost the June 4 primary to Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) and former Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield by a 2-1 margin.
Since his defeat, Howarth has not been back in the Assembly GOP Caucus room. It’s not immediately clear if Assembly Minority Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) will allow him back before Howarth’s term expires in January.
In the aftermath of Howarth’s alleged dalliance with a party switch, his relationship with most of the Republican caucus has changed.
“We can’t talk when he’s in the room,” one source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He goes right back to the Democrats and tells them everything, especially when we talk about Camden County
Howarth and Bramnick came to blows over the minority leader’s financial support of Peters. Bramnick had told the New Jersey Globe in February that he intended to remain neutral in the race, although he contributed $5,000 to Peters’ campaign.
Howarth approached Bramnick to ask when he might expect his $5,000.
Bramnick told him he was backing Peters, but that would be the only candidate to receive his support in the Republican primary.
“Go fuck yourself,” Howarth told Bramnick, the sources confirmed. “You’re the worst leader we’ve ever had. I can’t believe I voted for you twice.”