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Gay, pro-choice GOPer Curtis Bashaw wins New Jersey U.S. Senate primary

Gay, pro-choice GOPer Curtis Bashaw wins New Jersey U.S. Senate primary

Curtis Bashaw wins New Jersey primary
Twitter/X @Bashawforsenate

His nomination gives Republicans hope they could pick up a Senate seat in the solidly blue state.

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Curtis Bashaw, a pro-choice gay Republican, has won his party’s nomination for U.S. senator from New Jersey, leading GOPers to think they could pick up a seat that has long been held by Democrats.

Bashaw, a hotel developer, won Tuesday’s primary over Mendham, N.J., Mayor Christine Serrano Glassner, who had been endorsed by Donald Trump and is married to former Trump adviser Michael Glassner. In November, Bashaw will face Democrat Andy Kim, currently a member of the U.S. House, and the incumbent senator, Bob Menendez, who is a Democrat but will run as an independent if he is acquitted of federal bribery charges for which he’s now on trial. Menendez could draw votes away from Kim.

“I believe in New Jersey, I believe in its people, and I believe in freedom. And that’s why I believe it’s time for change,” Bashaw said after his win, according to the Associated Press. “It’s time for a political outsider who can deliver results.”

Bashaw’s nomination may impede Democrats’ efforts to hold on to their 51-49 Senate majority (including independents who caucus with the Democrats) or increase their numbers. But New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican U.S. senator since 1972, when Clifford Case was reelected.

“Good luck trying to label me,” he added in his post-election remarks. “I am Curtis Bashaw. A lifelong Republican. I am gay. I have been with my husband for 20 years. I am a small-business person. I am for freedom and domestic tranquility in our homes. I am pro-choice. I am pro-parent. I support law enforcement. I support Israel. I support Ukraine but know that America needs to be strong at home to be able to help others, and that means securing our border.”

He dubbed Kim and Menendez both “machine Democrats” and called Kim a “far-left D.C. insider.” He criticized Kim’s vote against the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, but the bill was opposed by some civil rights groups on the basis that anti-Semitic discrimination is already illegal and that “it would likely chill free speech of students on college campuses by incorrectly equating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism,” as the American Civil Liberties Union put it.

Some political observers consider Bashaw’s victory over a Trump-endorsed candidate a blow to the former president and presumptive GOP presidential nominee, but Bashaw did endorse Trump in April, the New Jersey Globe notes.

Kim told the Globe he is confident of beating Bashaw. “I have a particular expertise in beating Republican multimillionaire self-funding businesspeople from South Jersey. That’s literally all I’ve done in politics when it comes to elections,” he said. “I’ve only run against Republican multimillionaire self-funders from South Jersey, and I beat them every single time.”

Kim has perfect 100 scores from the Human Rights Campaign for his tenure in the House so far. He’s been a member since 2019.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.