By Art Gallagher
The pre-primary for the GOP nomination CD-3 has gotten ugly. Rightfully so.
David Richter, the former international construction executive who is vying for the 3rd district GOP nomination to take on Congressman Andy Kim, released an ad on facebook and youtube this afternoon that highlights his opponents’s arrest record and compares her, Kate Gibbs, to Snooki. The ad is hard hitting. Just like Andy Kim’s ads will be in October if Gibbs wins the primary on June 2.
The Asbury Park Press broke the news of Gibbs’ arrests for shop lifting, marijuana possession and drinking on the beach (in Sea Bright) last Friday, the day before the Ocean County GOP screening committee’s scheduled meeting to decide which candidates they would recommend for their County Committee’s endorsement. Gibbs, 33, was also sued multiple times for non-payment of rent while she was in college in Washington, DC, the app reported.
But the app editorial board questioned weather Gibbs’ arrests and lawsuits are a matter of youthful indiscretions or a flawed character. Kim’s behavior in his 20’s has been compared to Gibbs’ transgressions in two letters to the editor from supporters of the freshman congressman.
Richter’s ad is a preview of what Ocean County general election voters will see on their TVs in October in the event Gibbs wins the primary on June 2.
On January 31 I wrote that Gibbs could defeat Richter in the primary and that he and the Party would be better served by his running against Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman in CD-12. That was before I knew of Gibbs’s troublesome past.
If Gibbs had revealed her troubles herself she might have been able to turn them into a positive character building story. But that they were publicly revealed by the press—probably as a leak from the Richter camp–makes her look like she was hoping no one would find out about them.
The APP coverage and the ad reveal the superiority of the political team that Richter as assembled and the gross malpractice of Gibbs’ team.
If Gibb’s team did not know about her legal troubles, they should have. If they knew about them, they have handled them terribly.
That Gibbs was elected a freeholder in Burlington County with her record is amazing. Her arrest in Sea Bright was in 2014. She was elected in Burlington in 2015. Shame on the Burlington GOP and the Burlington Dems for not vetting her thoroughly. She would not have been nominated for freeholder or congress by the Monmouth GOP.
Ocean GOP convention voters–and primary voters–need to pick the best candidate to defeat Andy Kim in November. After stumbling out of the block after having the rug pulled out from under him by the unexpected Trump/Van Drew alliance, Richter has been running a superior campaign.
Gibbs deserves a second chance. But a congressional nomination for a winnable seat is more than a second chance. The majority of the House of Representatives is at stake.