Rep. Josh Gottheimer is known in New Jersey – and now on Capitol Hill – as the Human Fundraising Machine after raising more than $1.8 million for Democratic congressional candidates across the country so far this cycle.
The $1,837,943 is on top of the mammoth amount of money he has raised for his own re-election campaign in New Jersey’s 5th district. The two-term Bergen County Democrat had $6.4 million in his warchest at the end of September.
Gottheimer’s efforts to help Democrats keep their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives has won him the praise of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
“Josh Gottheimer’s tireless work to help Democrats in competitive districts will make a real difference in key races across the country, and is crucial to protecting our hard-won majority,” Hoyer told the New Jersey Globe. “As House Majority Leader, I’m grateful to have him on our team.”
Numbers like these could put Gottheimer on the leadership track, despite complaints from some progressives that Gottheimer is too centrist.
The Bergen County congressman’s fundraising prowess invites comparisons with another Clinton administration staffer, Rahm Emmanuel.
Gottheimer was one of Bill Clinton’s speechwriters when Emmanuel was a senior advisor to the president in 1998. They both worked on political campaigns early in their careers. Emmanuel worked on Paul Simon’s U.S. Senate campaign, the DCCC, and Clinton. Gottheimer was Frank Lautenberg’s Senate page, and worked on the presidential campaigns of Wesley Clark and John Kerry.
After a stint as an investment banker, Emmanuel won a House seat in 2002. Gottheimer, who is sixteen years younger, went to work for Microsoft before ousting a seven-term congressman in 2016.
Emmanuel became chairman of the DCCC after his first term in the House in 2005. Democrats won control in 2006 and he became chairman of the House Democratic Caucus – a job New Jersey’s Bob Menendez held until his appointment to the U.S. Senate the year before.
He later served as Barack Obama’s chief of staff and as mayor of Chicago.