BARNEGAT, NJ -  In November, Barnegat Mayor John Novak announced his intentions to run for the CD-3 congressional seat currently occupied by Democrat Andy Kim.  Novak went as far as meeting with the Ocean County Republican Party's nine member screening committee. Although the now Barnegat mayor received a nomination from the floor at the county's mini-convention, he declined it.  However, Novak's decision to withdraw from the race and endorse David Richter didn't come until today.

“David Richter filed a challenge to my candidate petitions with the Secretary of State and Office of Administrative Law alleging certain signatures were invalid as being duplicates with his petitions and other reasons,” said Novak.  "An OAL judge held a teleconference yesterday morning—court submissions and exhibits were electronically exchanged throughout the day"

“After careful review, line by line and signature by signature, it was to be that many who signed my petitions also signed David’s or another candidate’s petitions.  Several others were invalid for various reasons; the facts are what the facts are and the law is the law.  The proper thing to do under these circumstances is to withdraw,” said Mayor Novak.  He submitted his withdrawal to the court yesterday.

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According to reputable sources, some people who signed Novak's petition were actually registered democrats. Additionally, Stafford is divided between CD-2 and CD-3. Novak's petition included signatures from individuals who live in Stafford and are part of the second congressional district.

Mayor Novak concluded, “Last summer I was inspired to consider running for Congress and was led to enter the race; I did so with a passion for this country, its freedoms and its foundational beginnings.  As a conservative Republican I sought to protect our Bill of Rights, especially the First Amendment and Second Amendment, as well as free market capitalism, individual liberties and the sanctity of life." 

"I want America First.  Unseating Andy Kim and restoring the House of Representatives to the Republicans is imperative for this agenda," the Barnegat mayor continued.  "My passions and agenda have not changed—but I am no longer a candidate this election cycle.  Given the options presented, David Richter is who I endorse.”

Richter is not the only Republican vying for the chance to unseat Kim. According to a representative from Kate Gibbs campaign, she continues in the quest to turn CD-3 red. While Richter has the line in Ocean County, Gibbs has it in Burlington.

“I’d like to thank John for his endorsement and commend him for his hard work and dedicated efforts throughout this campaign,” said Richter.  “As we repeatedly crossed paths on the campaign trail it was obvious that John and I both had the same goal—to ensure that Andy Kim is defeated in November by a pro-Trump conservative Republican and that we take back control of the House from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.  John’s support and endorsement bring us significantly closer to achieving that goal.”