Republican 12th District Congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle announced today that he has contributed $250,000 of his own money to his campaign account and will match “at least” the first $1 million in donations he receives.
“I am not in this campaign simply to compete and put up a good fight, I am in it to win in November and send Rush Holt back to private life,” said Sipprelle, a venture capitalist and former hedge fund manager. “I believe so strongly in my core message of economic renewal and fiscal responsibility, and in my ability to carry that message to every corner of this district, that I am announcing today my plan to match at least the first $1,000,000 in donations received from supporters who agree with me that the time has come to make American work again.”
Sipprelle wants to run against U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-Princeton), but first has to get by Republican Fair Haven Mayor Michael Halfacre in the GOP primary. Halfacre has little money (he had raised only about $60,000 as of September 30), but started campaigning almost a year ago and has won a significant amount of establishment party support.
Sipprelle, a Princeton resident, kicked off his campaign Wednesday night at the Princeton Regency Hyatt.
Without specifically noting Halfacre’s anemic fundraising, Sipprelle nevertheless drew attention to it.
“A message that cannot be heard is a message that will fail,” he said. “The stakes are too high to go mute on the critical issues affecting our communities and our nation. I look forward to holding Rush Holt accountable for his failures in Congress and forcing him to engage in a contest of ideas that he cannot and will not win.”
Although not one of the most prolific fundraisers in the New Jersey congressional delegation, Holt spent almost $1 million in his 2008 campaign against Republican Alan Bateman, who raised little money. As of the last quarter, he had $590,707 on hand.
Sipprelle’s comment drew a scathing response from Halfacre, who said that the newcomer had not offered specific stances in his campaign kickoff.
“I think that the Republican voters of New Jersey are going to be a little skeptical of a guy who, the day after he announces his candidate, without yet posting a single substantive issue of his own, his second press release after announcing his candidacy is he’s going to give $250,000 to his campaign and match up to $1 million,” he said. “Ok, Scott, we know you have money. Where do you stand on the issues?”