MT. HOLLY, N.J. — Assemblyman Joe Howarth denies that he attempted to switch parties along with Republican turncoat state Senator Dawn Addiego (D-8). Addiego — credibility issues notwithstanding — backs him up.
His county party’s new leadership doesn’t seem to agree.
On Friday, Chairman Sean Earlen (the successor to former Chairman Bill Layton) issued a brief statement formally disowning one of LD8’s two Republican Assemblymen ahead of this June’s primary…
“Following Senator Dawn Addiego’s announcement last week that she was abandoning her principles to become a Democrat, Assemblyman Joe Howarth cut off all contact with me and other Republican leaders in an apparent attempt to join Senator Addiego in defecting. After finally speaking with Joe, and weighing his words and his actions against contrary evidence, I consulted with other party leaders and arrived at the indisputable fact that Joe Howarth no longer deserves party support.
At a time when Phil Murphy and Trenton Democrats are crushing Burlington County residents with their tax and spend policies, we need champions who will prioritize the plight of their constituents over their own political self-preservation. I have informed Joe Howarth that the Burlington County Republican Committee cannot in good conscience support his bid for reelection. While it is up to Joe to decide if he will continue to serve out the remainder of his term, his time as a candidate supported by our organization is over.”
Earlen’s decision leaves Assemblyman Ryan Peters, a 30-something attorney and NAVY Seal, with the task of finding a new running mate and governing the imperiled Republican ship.
There’s no word yet whether Howarth will drop, fight for his old spot or explore another option.