OCEAN COUNTY/BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ – Earlier this week, Republican David Richter announced his plans to unseat Congressman Andy Kim. It didn’t take long for fellow Republican challengers to come together on one issue. In short, they collectively suggested he was “district shopping.”
It’s true that Richter doesn’t currently live in New Jersey’s Third Congressional District. It’s also a valid point to say that Richter planned on running for Congress in CD-2 against then Democrat, Jeff Van Drew. However, Richter’s ready to make changes on a national level. And, that’s even if it means moving from Princeton to Ocean County.
Meanwhile, Richter is no stranger to CD-3 in the first place. A native of Willingboro, Richter, lived in Cherry Hill for a while. At the time, Cherry Hill was also assigned to the Third Congressional District. Ultimately, Richter would finish college and law school and head off to work for the New York office of one of the largest law firms in the world.
“Even when I was in school and working in the private sector, I was always interested in politics,” shared Richter. “I don’t know how you can live in a society and not care about its laws or how it’s governed.”
Richter came back to the Third Congressional District in 1995. His father had opened a one-man consulting business named Hill International. At the time, the company’s primary focus was working with contractors on construction claims.
When the economy took a downturn, Richter stepped in to help his father. “The company provided access to all types of experts,” said Richter. “We added project management to what we offered clients.”
The business took off, and in 2006, Hill International went public. At some point, Richter went from the company’s president to its CEO. With project management taking up 75% of the industry work, Hill decided to separate the business. The construction claims portion of the company sold for $140M.
What started out as a small family business grew to become a conglomerate with international recognition. After 22 years with a company now worth $200M, Richter decided to pursue his lifelong dream of going into public service.
Richter’s pedigree includes two undergraduate degrees and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He also has an M.Sc. in major program management from the University of Oxford. Most recently, Richter earned an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School.
“While I was at Harvard, I actually did research on how to run for office in CD-2,” shared Richter. “I studied the demographics and planned on running to switch a blue district to red.”
Unfortunately, there was one problem with all of Richter’s analysis. “Nothing covered what to do when a Democrat switches parties,” he said.
When Van Drew made that decision, Richter decided he would take a look at the district that he knew so well. According to Richter, Andy Kim is one of the most liberal members of congress.
“Kim is part of the progressive movement started by Bernie Sanders,” Richter asserted. “He’s there with four members of the “squad” and is a radical progressive in a Republican district.”
Richter recently had the chance to remind President Donald Trump that the country’s leader won the district by six points during his first term. During the rally in Wildwood, Richter was one of three speakers who opened for the president.
“I met the president backstage,” said Richter, who also says he’s looked up to Trump as a business hero for a very long time. “I told him that he would take the district by 12 points in 2020.”
When it comes to the issues, Richter feels that the economy is most important. He wants people to have good lives, with better jobs. Richter sees New Jersey as a state with some of the worst anti-business laws. He plans to do what he can as a congressman to continue to cut taxes.
A couple of Richter’s opponents have connected him to the Biden family. According to Richter, he and his father didn’t always agree on business. “It was Joe Biden’s brother who used the family name and my father who actually invested in his company,” shared Richter.
“I was not the guy who hired him,” continued Richter. “I was the guy who fired him.”
Other than to say that he doesn’t think any of the other three candidates can unseat Andy Kim, Richter was disinclined to speak out against any of them.
“Andy Kim is very beatable,” Richter asserted. “I plan to run a strong and well-financed Republican race to work with the Trump administration.”