ATLANTIC CITY — One of Gov. Chris Christie’s closest political advisers gave Assembly Republicans a pep talk in place of the GOP leader himself here at Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick’s (R-21) statewide Republican conference tonight.
Mike DuHaime, Christie’s former campaign strategist and senior adviser for the fledgling presidential candidate’s new leadership PAC, took to the stage at the Borgata Ballroom to emphasize the need for voter turnout and well-oiled campaigns this election season, when the Assembly will find itself at the top of the ticket statewide.
“You can’t govern unless you win, because if you don’t win, you can’t governor,” he said.
DuHaime said it will be a tough election year for Republicans, as there are no gubernatorial or senate race coattails to benefit from on the ballot. That means turnout will be low, he said, but it doesn’t mean the party can’t still pick up seats with some effort.
“What that provides actually, is a great opportunity. The best organized campaigns, the best candidates, are going to win this year. There aren’t winds at the top of the ticket to help, so it’s going to come down to who’s on the ground and who’s in this room,” DuHaime said.
Echoing other Republican speakers here at the Borgata, DuHaime said Democrats are standing in the way of the progress Republicans are trying to make in the legislature — but also the progress Christie is trying to make as he gears up for a 2016 presidential run.
“Gov. Christie needs more Republicans in the state Assembly in the state Assembly if hes going to accomplish great things in the state,” he said.
“If we don’t win, we can’t govern — or even worse, the other side gets to govern, and they’re terrible,” he added.