Did Matt Mowers Violate Election Law? Depends on Who You Ask
Matt Mowers broke no law by voting in both the New Hampshire and New Jersey primaries in 2016, but it's still not a good look according to a political science professor used by his campaign to defend the Republican. Meanwhile, two of Mowers' opponents called for him to quit the race.
A report by the Associated Press citing public records showed Mowers, who ran then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's New Hampshire presidential campaign in New Hampshire, voted in the Granite State primary in February.
After Christie dropped out of the race, Mowers moved back to New Jersey, registered to vote using his parents address, and voted in the Garden State presidential primary in June.
In a statement issued by his campaign, Mowers said that after Christie ended his campaign, he took a job working at Trump Tower in Manhattan as National Field Coordinator & Director of Battleground States.
Mowers sees a political reason, and blamed Democrats and those who don't like former President Donald Trump for finding his voting record because of incumbent Chris Pappas' "free falling" poll numbers.
"There is no further proof needed than the coordinated attack from career politicians like Hillary Clinton and never Trumpers who are desperate to retain relevancy," Mowers said in a statement. "I was proud to work for President Trump as the GOP establishment was working to undermine his nomination and accepted a job with his campaign in 2016, registered to vote, and casted my vote in accordance with the law."
It's Up to Voters to Decide If Mowers Was Wrong
Mowers also cited a tweet by the Rebovich Institute at Rider University in New Jersey which called the AP's report "silly."
Rebovich Institute executive director Micah Rasmussen told Seacoast Current that Mowers did not vote twice in the same election, but rather cast ballots in two different primary elections, which is an important difference. And it's legal in New Jersey
"He voted in New Hampshire because he lived in New Hampshire while he was working on that campaign. Then after that campaign was over, he came back to New Jersey. Our requirement is that you live in the county for 30 days where you're registering. He had plenty of time to do that. He registered at what was his childhood home, and he voted here," Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said it's ultimately up to the voters of the First Congressional District to decide the integrity of Mowers' votes.
"Did he violate an election law? I'm telling you from a New Jersey perspective he did not. He met all of our requirements to vote here. If you're asking me if someone should register their preference twice in the same election season, that's something I think everybody's going to have to decide for themselves when they go into the voting booth."
Calls for Mowers to Quit
Fellow Republicans Julian Acciard and Gail Huff Brown said Mowers should get out of the race while Karoline Leavitt and state Rep. Tim Baxter hammered away at the top fundraiser in the race.
"This is the type of stuff that proves what voters have been looking at, what we've been complaining about this entire time are completely real," said Acciard. "It's happening all over the country. To be completely honest, if I were him, I probably wouldn't stay in the race," Acciard said on his Twitter account.
Gail Huff Brown was also critical of Mowers on her Twitter account, and accused him of voter fraud.
"The Republican Party is the party of election integrity, and we cannot nominate someone who has engaged in voter fraud and expect to be taken seriously on the topic. We can do better," Brown said.
Brown told WMUR that Mowers needs to think about his campaign and consider dropping out.
Karoline Leavitt called him a "coward" for not taking questions, and said he should be held accountable.
Mowers did speak with WMUR reporter Mike Cherry and attacked Hillary Clinton's comments about his votes on Twitter, calling her "desperate" to get attention in New Hampshire.
"Hillary Clinton is so desperate to get back into the conversation here in New Hampshire that she's attacked me on Twitter."
Baxter told WMUR that "people are done with pretenders", and he is the only candidate in the race fighting for election integrity.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH