TOMS RIVER-Hirsh Singh, now running as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate on the same line as President Donald J. Trump has been lobbying party leaders in Ocean County for the past two years for support. More importantly, Singh has been working full-time solidifying their support the past two weeks, but today, he’s credit the hard work of his campaign volunteers and Singh ground game director, former New Jersey Gubernatorial candidate Joseph Rullo.
The two competed against each other in the 2017 primary, but this year, the two are working together to battle a system that has worked against them both in prior elections, the county campaign screening, and endorsement process.
In what is usually pre-determined by a handshake and a nod weeks before the actual conventions across New Jersey, Singh said he knew Ocean County was different. It’s a fair process that allows the actual leadership of each municipality to privately vote for their candidate. Nobody can be shamed afterwards for bucking the party line or called out for not voting for who the party leaders dictated…and for Singh, it worked out just fine.
He credits Rullo and local conservative media for pushing him over the finish line in Ocean County with 106-77, dealing the establishment Republicans an unanticipated blow. Rullo went head to head against moderate Republican operative Chris Russell and a campaign bank account full of cash. Singh and Rullo worked on a shoestring budget and relied on a grassroots campaign from top to bottom.
Both made phone calls all week, met with party leaders, attended municipal party meetings and worked hard for each vote they received.
That is what is going to beat Cory Booker in November, not the top-down approach that allowed Senator Bob Menendez to steamroll millionaire Republican Bob Hugin two years ago.
Despite the best efforts to defeat Singh, party executive leaders who endorsed Rikin Mehta just a few days earlier were left shocked and stunned at Singh’s commanding victory.
That’s not how it works not how it works. In past years, the Ocean County GOP chairman and the screening committee usually got what they wanted when it came to endorsements. Floor votes in opposition against their handpicked candidates were rare. Even rarer was a successful floor vote which happened just four times in the past three decades.
Hirsh, along with Rullo showed that the old way of doing business in political campaigns is a dying trend. Singh relied on Rullo’s extensive reach on social media, teamed up with a focused advertising campaign on Shore News Network, New Jersey’s largest conservative media platform and old fashioned elbow grease to get the job done.
Singh said that he may not have won the North Jersey establishment votes, but he’s confident his conservative message and long history of supporting Republicans in New Jersey is what will carry him over the finish line statewide against Mehta, who just a few years ago was a registered Democrat working in the Obama administration.
Not only was Singh’s victory a defeat for the Holman leadership team, it was one of two defeats for award winning campaign strategist Chris Russell who has lost a few key races in the past three years in New Jersey.