According to the Press of Atlantic City: There are few contested primary races for state offices this year in southeastern New Jersey, but the Republican primary for state Senate in the 2nd Legislative District is likely to create enough buzz for the whole state.
The hot primary in the 2nd District, between Republicans Vince Polistina, of Egg Harbor Township, and Seth Grossman, of Atlantic City, will be among the state’s most interesting, one political analyst predicted.
“Normally I would go with the organization candidate (winning), because of the built-in advantages that go with it,” said John Froonjian, executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University. “This is going to be a little different.”
Those advantages include greater access to campaign infrastructure, the help of party activists and the ability to raise money, Froonjian said.
The party committee is supporting Polistina, who will run as an “Atlantic County Regular Republican.”
Monday was the deadline for filing petitions to run, and the state Division of Elections listed the unofficial candidates for state offices Tuesday.
The Hughes Center and the League of Women Voters of Atlantic County are planning to co-sponsor primary debates. They have invited Polistina and Grossman to a debate 7 p.m. May 11, Froonjian said. They also have invited the Democratic candidates for clerk to a candidates forum 7 p.m. April 27.
Grossman probably has better name recognition than Polistina, Froonjian said. And he has a strong network of local and nationwide supporters who are likely to donate to his campaign.
“You can’t underestimate that in an election. Polistina hasn’t run in 10 years, and Grossman ran in an extremely high-profile congressional race just three years ago.”
Grossman won the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary in 2018 but was defeated by a smaller margin than expected by then-Democrat Jeff Van Drew, who later changed parties to Republican after voting against impeaching President Donald Trump in the House of Representatives.
Grossman also runs a conservative organization called Liberty and Prosperity, and is a well-known lawyer.
“It may come down to how Trumpy has the Republican Party in Atlantic County become,” Froonjian said. “This will be interesting to see.”
Grossman, whose campaign slogan is “The Real Republican Fighting ‘Woke’ Democrats,” ran in the Republican primary for Congress in 2018 as a pro-Trump Republican.”
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