Seth Grossman’s statements on race may have killed his chances of earning party support after his surprise victory in the second congressional district’s Republican primary earlier this month.
Doug Steinhardt, the chair of the Republican State Committee, on Thursday reiterated past statements to say that Grossman’s statements did not reflect the views of the state GOP, indicating that the candidate might have trouble leveraging party resources in his race against State Sen. Jeff Van Drew.
“Seth, his statements do not speak for the state party. we have a much different perspective on what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Steinhardt said. “I said from day one that we’re looking to pitch a big tent. I recognize that the face of New Jersey is changing, and the party is going to change with it, so there’s no room under that tent for people that don’t share those types of views.”
Statements made by Grossman at a campaign April forum, in which he called diversity “un-American,” decried affirmative action and said former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was only nominated to run against Gov. Phil Murphy last year because she was a woman, were given to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Daily News shortly after the primary.
Still, though he’s decried Grossman’s statements, Steinhardt stopped short of saying the state party wouldn’t support the candidate.
“There’s been no specific request made for us to do anything at this point, so my answer to you is what my answer to you was,” Steinhardt said. “Once a request is made, we’ll assess it at the time that it’s made, but again, we’re going to invest in races that we believe have a chance of being successful in November.”
Grossman, who won no county lines in the primary faces an uphill battle against Van Drew. Regardless of whether or not he makes any requests for party support, whether that support comes will likely depend more on Van Drew making missteps that make up for his strength going into the race.