Former State Sen. Diane Allen on Wednesday endorsed Assemblyman Ryan Peters and former Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield, putting the reputation of a respected former elected official behind the county-backed candidates.
“When my former colleague, Sen. Dawn Addiego, abandoned the Republican Party and became a Democrat, it was a clear betrayal of all the Republicans who had donated to her campaign or volunteered to help win election and re-election multiple times,” Allen said. “Not surprisingly, her office mate, Assemblyman Joe Howarth, attempted to follow suit and cut his own deal with the Democrats.”
Earlier this year, Addiego defected from the Republican party.
Sources on both sides of the aisle have told the New Jersey Globe Howarth attempted to follow suit, but that deal fell through after pushback from municipal Democrats in the district who said they would not back Howarth in a Democratic primary.
Howarth, who denies claims that he attempted to switch parties, is now mounting an off-the-line bid as a Trump Republican.
“Politics is a strange business but watching Joe attempt to remake himself into a ‘MAGA Trump Republican’ just weeks after trying to defect to the Democrat Party is just plain bizarre. I am urging everyone reading this today to not be fooled. Joe’s phony embrace of the President is a disingenuous ploy intended only to try and fool voters in the upcoming primary election,” Allen said. “You deserve better.”
The primary election is on June 4.
Somewhat surprisingly, both Republican camps in the eighth legislative district have largely eschewed attacks on one another.
That’s likely because, despite the animus, they realize that the district will host one of the state’s most competitive Assembly races this year.
Democrats are fielding Mark Natale and Gina LaPlaca for the district’s seats.
“These two proven winners are exactly who we need to be advocating for our interests in Trenton and I’m urging all 8th District Republicans to vote for them in the June 4th primary,” Allen said, referring to the county-backed Republicans.