By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
It looks like Thursday night’s largest New Jersey in-state GOP Debate watch party was thrown by our friend Congressman Tom MacArthur, Save Jerseyans, cheering on the party’s presidential nominee contenders and raising money for his first reelection campaign along with 100+ gathered at Dadz Bar & Grill in Lumberton.
The popular neighborhood pub, located in a blue collar Philadelphia suburb of 12,000, streamed debate coverage while operatives, volunteers, donors and elected leaders from the Third Congressional District shared drinks, apps and candid presidential campaign opinions.
Attendees’ spirits were high notwithstanding a contentious GOP national contest due, in part, to last fall’s Republican conquest of the freeholder board which now stands at 5-0 Republican.
What’s more, despite not having drawn a strong Democrat challenge to date for the 2016 cycle, Congressman MacArthur is leaving little to chance and is aggressively planting his flag publicly and early in Lumberton, a move which South Jersey political watchers see as highly symbolic. Lumberton is a key swing town in Burlington County; Obama won 57% of the vote in 2012 while MacArthur earned 50% of the vote in the 2014 midterms.
Spotted notables at the MacArthur debate watch party: State Senator Dawn Addiego (R-8), Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-8), Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R-8), newly-elected Republican Freeholders Ryan Peters and Kate Gibbs, Young Republican activists including Kevin Tober and Shane Garland, and superstar Burlington County GOP Executive Director Josh Foote.