Atlantic City Christmas Parade

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew walks in this month's Atlantic City Christmas Parade on the Boardwalk.

{child_kicker}ELECTION 2020: 2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT RACE{/child_kicker}

1 candidate drops out as others add endorsements

{child_byline}MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST

Staff Writer

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U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, garnered more endorsements this past week, and two of his three Republican primary opponents either left the race or are considering running in a different district.

Brian Fitzherbert, 30, of Egg Harbor Township, dropped out Friday and endorsed Van Drew. David Richter, of Avalon and Princeton, said he may run in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District instead. He will make a decision before President Donald Trump’s rally in Wildwood on Tuesday.

Plan for legal status for undocumented immigrants

Robert Turkavage, of Brigantine, who recently switched parties from Republican to Democrat, has released a plan to let undocumented immigrants stay in the U.S. legally, as long as they have not engaged in criminal behavior.

Turkavage, a former FBI agent, suggested using deferred prosecution agreements between the immigrants and the government, along with the payment of substantial fines.

Some could reduce or eliminate penalties and conditions by entering into a separate cooperation agreement and helping the government solve crimes involving undocumented migrants, he said.

“DPAs hold the (immigrant) accountable for their criminal conduct; the cost to the government of investigating, prosecuting (trials and appeals), and deporting are avoided; and the U.S. government receives payment and restitution for services used,” Turkavage said.

Democratic endorsements go to Kennedy, Harrison

The Unite HERE Local 54 hospitality workers union said Friday it has endorsed Montclair State University Professor Brigid Callahan Harrison in the Democratic primary.

On Monday, the Atlantic City Democratic Committee endorsed Amy Kennedy, of Longport, a former teacher married to former Rhode Island congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Patterson supports term limits

Republican primary candidate Bob Patterson, of Ocean City and Haddonfield, said Tuesday he has signed the U.S. Term Limits pledge for a Constitutional Amendment limiting those elected to Congress to three House terms and two Senate terms.

Patterson said he is the first signer in the race, but Republican primary candidate David Richter issued a news release last week calling for three Constitutional Amendments, including one instituting term limits of 12 years.

Richter may move to 3rd District race

Republican Richter will decide by Tuesday whether to switch races and run in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, rather than against Van Drew in the 2nd.

Richter reported raising $240,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019, in a financial filing this week with the Federal Election Commission. He brought in $40,000 from contributors and added $200,000 in personal funds to the campaign, he said, finishing the year with $515,000 cash-on-hand.

Richter is the former CEO of global construction management firm Hill International.

Van Drew collects more endorsements

Somers Point Councilman and Atlantic County Republican Freeholder candidate James Toto endorsed Van Drew for re-election after rescinding his support for Richter.

“Having known Congressman Van Drew for several years, I always appreciated his conservative values and dedication to our community,” Toto said. “I’m happy to welcome Congressman Jeff Van Drew to the Republican party and join with President Trump in supporting him.”

Also this past week, the Egg Harbor Township Republican Committee voted unanimously to endorse Van Drew, and recommended that their United Republican Club award him all of their delegate votes at the Atlantic County Republican Convention on March 21.

Egg Harbor Township has the largest Republican convention delegation in Atlantic County, representing about one-third of the votes needed to secure the nomination.

Last week, Galloway Township Councilmen Tony Coppola, Rich Clute and Tony DiPietro rescinded their support of Richter to endorse Van Drew.

And state Sen. Chris Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove, all R-Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic, endorsed Van Drew this week.

“As state legislators, we worked with then Sen. Van Drew on a variety of common sense issues like the Coastal New Jersey Evacuation Task Force to better prepare coastal communities for natural disasters and fighting to ensure South Jersey representation on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which oversees the Garden State Parkway,” the three said in a statement. “Our working relationship has continued to grow since his election to Congress, and we call upon our mutual constituents in Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean counties to join us in supporting his reelection.”

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Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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