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Republican David Richter wins NJ primary in race to challenge Rep. Andy Kim

Republican David Richter wins NJ primary in race to challenge Rep. Andy Kim

Republican David Richter won the primary in New Jersey’s 3rd District, setting up a high-profile matchup against first-term Rep. Andy Kim (D) in November.

Richter, the former CEO of construction management company Hill International, defeated Kate Gibbs, a former union official. He won with 63.7 percent of the vote after 65 percent of precincts had reported, according to The Associated Press on Friday.

The primary took place on Tuesday, but a surge in mailed-in ballots delayed results for a handful of races.

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Richter initially had planned to challenge Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (R-N.J.) in the 2nd District, but switched districts after the first-term lawmaker switched parties from Democrat to Republican. Van Drew easily prevailed in his primary on Tuesday and will face off against Democrat Amy Kennedy in November.

The race between Richter and Gibbs has devolved into a series of personal attacks, including Richter comparing Gibbs’s past charges of shoplifting and drug possession to “Jersey Shore” personality Snooki.

Meanwhile, Gibbs slammed Richter in last month’s debate as “an entitled rich guy” who is “desperate to get a title.” However, both candidates have policy stances that largely mirror President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE’s.  

Kim won his seat in 2018, unseating former Rep. Tom MacArthurThomas (Tom) Charles MacArthurChamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch Republican David Richter wins NJ primary in race to challenge Rep. Andy Kim What to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday MORE (R) by just over a point in the central New Jersey district. The GOP has made retaking the seat a top priority, with the National Republican Congressional Committee designating it as a top flip opportunity.