Josh Gottheimer met a crowd of supporters in Newton last night at American Legion Post 86.
The crowd gathered to kickoff Gottheimer’s campaign to unseat Scott Garrett in the Fifth Congressional District. He delivered the message that this year’s race is winnable for a Democrat, and that he is in position to do just that.
There’s a growing realization across the political spectrum that Garrett does not represent the values of the vast majority of his constituents. This has been noticed outside as well as within the district. One result is that the National Democratic Party has designated CD5 as a winnable district. The NDC will help fund Gottheimer’s efforts.
In fact, Gottheimer starts his campaign with a substantial war chest. At the moment it approaches two million dollars. Much of those funds were contributed by individuals and groups reacting to Garrett’s bigotry. Garrett’s homophobic remarks have been reported widely in the national press.
Gottheimer pointed out that his confidence is boosted by this realization: In the last two senatorial elections in New Jersey, the majority of voters in the Fifth Congressional district voted for the Democratic candidate.
Last night’s crowd included Republicans and Independents as well as Democrats. Gottheimer pointed out that CD5 residents across the board, of all persuasions, are suffering Garrett’s lack of representation. He gave examples of Garrett’s lack of concern for the needs of his constituents. He faulted Garrett for putting right wing ideology ahead of everything else, including our welfare.
The fact is that Garrett has earned the sobriquet, “Dr. No”. That’s because he consistently votes “no”, even on proposals that specifically target aid to folks in his district. For example, he voted to kill proposals for enhanced aid to Sandy victims. Often he’s the only member of New Jersey’s congressional delegate on to do so. And he is infamous for his recent vote to deny relief for the ongoing medical needs of first responders seriously injured on September 11, 2001.
There’s plenty of additional evidence that Garrett is complicit in shortchanging his constituents. Because of Garrett’s lack of consideration for our needs, we get back in benefits from Washington less than one third of what we send there in taxes.
Gottheimer characterizes himself as a fiscal moderate and social liberal. He has worked in government since the Clinton administration. He feels that he is the right man for the District.
And the crowd seemed to agree.
Here’s a link to his campaign website: josh4congress.com