Brian McDowell had made it all the way to being formally selected by the Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland County GOP to be their formally endorsed candidate for the New Jersey General Assembly in District 1.

Then, on Friday, April 7, it all came crashing down when Cape May Republican Party Chairman Marcus Karavan requested that McDowell step down.

When he refused, Karavan removed him from their regular slate of formally endorsed candidates.

McDowell will not be bracketed in the regular Republican column; however, he appears to still be in the race. His ballot placement will now be determined by a county clerk draw.

McDowell had previously filed his petition of candidacy in Trenton on Thursday, March 30. The next day he held a press conference in front of his real estate office to formally declare his candidacy. He did so with great enthusiasm and excitement.

In 2005, McDowell was selected to become a contestant on NBC television's "The Apprentice," then hosted by now U.S. President Donald Trump.

McDowell has claimed in his campaign collateral to have served the Trump for President campaign in Florida, Iowa and as the Cape May County Regular Republican coordinator for Trump.

McDowell had accomplished quite a bit in a very short time frame.

He appeared to be well on his way to the Tuesday, Nov. 7, general election ballot.

However, in a matter of a few days, it all quickly began to fall apart around him. I received a phone call from a high-ranking Republican elected official on Saturday morning, April 1. This was no April Fool's joke.

I was advised that there was a major problem regarding McDowell and that it was about to break wide open. Here's an example that things were deteriorating at this time: McDowell had a photo of himself pictured with New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. He was asked by Cape May Republican officials to remove it from his website.

McDowell was also asked to voluntarily leave the ticket. He refused. On Friday, April 7, I received several phone calls throughout the day that McDowell was asked to leave the ticket. He still refused.

On this same day, Karavan removed him from the Cape May Regular Republican ticket.

There is a short video available to view at, which shows McDowell talking with a female. McDowell uses profanity, vulgarity and makes a proposition to a woman that I will not dignify in this column. If you intend to view the video, please be guided accordingly that there is profanity and inappropriate conduct by McDowell depicted.

Various Republican leaders have also advised me that there were additional reasons why they asked McDowell to leave the endorsed slate of Cape May Republican candidates. They declared that the issues are contained within public records.

McDowell's personal Facebook page features a main home screen photo of him sitting on a park bench being interviewed by NBC 10 television on President Trump's inauguration day, Monday, Jan. 20.

McDowell still displays at least two photos of himself with Lt. Gov. Guadagno on his personal Facebook page. Another home screen photo shows McDowell with Cumberland County-based, District 1 Assembly nominee Jim Sauro. McDowell is speaking at the podium, with Sauro positioned behind him, just off to his left shoulder.

Regarding McDowell's use of crude language to proposition a woman, McDowell told NBC 10 that "It was a jestful conversation, and unfortunately you only see 10 seconds of it. It definitely seemed like a setup of some sort," said McDowell.

Further, McDowell said, "To look at the video, it looks very degrading to women. And that's not the way it was. It's totally not."

Incredulously, McDowell directly compared himself to President Trump by stating how many millions of dollars were spent to attack Trump. McDowell said "he (Trump) makes mistakes, too."

Finally, McDowell blamed it on his consumption of alcohol.

"I had a couple of drinks, it was probably after midnight and my brother told me that nothing good normally happens after midnight when it involves alcohol. So I probably would have drank a little bit less," said McDowell.

Karavan issued the following statement regarding McDowell:

"This information places the candidate (McDowell) in a light that is inconsistent with several of the core principles of the Cape May County Regular Republican Organization," wrote Karavan.

As we have been writing all during this wacky and wild campaign season: Truth is stranger than fiction!

From the campaign place-switching of Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo and Colin Bell in District 2, along with the political party switch in Cape May County for sheriff involving a former vanquished Republican candidate turned official Democratic nominee, this has already been one of the most bizarre election contests in Atlantic and Cape May County history.

Now, with the removal of McDowell from the endorsed ticket, it heightens the level of political insanity to a level that we have never witnessed before.

Most election seasons don't feature even one of these types of developments. This year, there has been three such occurrences.

Stay tuned, it's only April.

Harry Hurley is the president of Harry Hurley Consulting and Communications, LLC. He hosts the daily talk radio program "Hurley in the Morning" 6-10 a.m. weekdays on Townsquare Media, WPG Talk Radio 1450, where he also serves as the senior programming consultant. Hurley has hosted various programs for local television and is the editor and publisher of his news and information website, Send comments to