TOMS RIVER-The Republican party has an ideal candidate to take on Democrat New Jersey Congressman and Nancy Pelosi ally Andy Kim in the form of former Burlington County Freeholder Kate Gibbs.
Gibbs, 33, offers the party the diversity that was promised in Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman’s plan to overhaul the Ocean County political power structure.
In his penned op-ed, “My plan to make the Ocean County GOP Great Again”, Holman laid out his plan to change the party after taking the helm from longtime Chairman George Gilmore.
“We will also build our grassroots rank and file from the bottom up by running more women, young people, and ethnically diverse candidates for office,” Holman said.
Now, Holman is faced with the possibility of the most diverse ticket the county has seen at the federal level, possibly ever. Gibbs, a single mom with an exceptional background in politics and Hirsh Singh, an Indian-American engineer whose popularity in Republican circles is surging to take on Cory Booker.
Chairman Holman has publicly paused on both candidates.
“There may be some more people who will be emerging,” Holman told NJ Globe Political Blogger David Wildstein. “I would prefer an Ocean County candidate. I’m waiting to see if anyone will run.”
Holman indicated that he would prefer a primary between a candidate in Ocean County, yet to be named against Gibbs, a well respected and politically accomplished candidate.
On the other side, the Democrats are digging in behind Andy Kim, organizing their massive grassroots campaign early, raising over $1.2 million while Republicans in Ocean County take a ‘wait and see what happens’ approach to the election they lost just a year ago. The party in Ocean County is still fractured as longtime Gilmore supporters have rallied behind a new “Southern Ocean Conservative Republican PAC” while infighting and subversion within the party continues. Today, the structure of the Ocean County GOP resembles the medieval feudal system, another challenge Holman has to overcome to bring all of the lords of the realm back together again.
Burlington County Republican Chairman Sean Earlen has already endorsed Gibbs. An endorsement from both chairmen could put Gibbs in a better position to start tackling the real opponent in the room, Andy Kim. It could also boost her ability to raise the necessary campaign funding to match Kim’s. Kim is a staunch ally of Nancy Pelosi and before becoming a Congressman ran a radical left-wing resistance organization. He has since disassociated himself with his deep-seeded radical roots, but his followers have not, which is why he was able to organize and defeat Tom MacArthur last year.
For now, New Jersey Democrats continue raising money and planning their victory waiting for an opponent to materialize. The GOP looks like it will sit on the sidelines until the June Primary and engage in yet another turf battle that would only benefit Andy Kim and Cory Booker.