Along with the Anna Little outcome on Tuesday night, one of the surprise stories in the Republican Primary was Tea Party Approved candidate Dave Corsi’s 46 to 54% 12th Congressional District loss to establishment Republican Scott Sipprelle, a venture capitalist from Princeton.
The fact that a candidate running with about $5,000 against a $640,000 GOP juggernaut could win two of five counties and send a streak of fear down the backs of Sipprelle supporters early in the evening was not lost on Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre.
Halfacre ran for the Republican line in the 12th and surrendered after the Middlesex County organization gave its support to Sipprelle.
Asked if he regreted not running to the finish, particulalry after seeing Corsi’s victory by 768 votes in the Monmouth County portion of the district, Halfacre said, “Absolutely. I made a mistake. No one could have predicted this election result. If we had any idea the line would have been as weak as it was, we would have stayed in.”
Halfacre admitted that at the time of his bow-out, he believed overcoming the county lines was an impossible task without a lot of money.
When he dropped, Halfacre had $40,574 in the bank, according to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
“Who knew that for the first time in memory you could argue that the county lines actually hurt the candidates,” said the mayor, referring also to the outcome in the 6th Congressional District, where Little today maintains a 75-vote edge over Rumson newspaper publisher Diane Gooch.
“The Tea Party came through and deserves credit,” Halfacre said. “I will probably take it to my grave, but the past eight weeks with my family have been great.”
Corsi reveled in his effort.
“We gave it a good shot, and clearly people are looking for a change,” said the Oceanport underdog. “I think the thing with Mike is he was too worried about the party leadership. Hopefully we showed people you need more than just money.”