May 9, 2021

LIVE RESULTS: Rep. Josh Gottheimer looks to defend his House seat against Republican Frank Pallotta in New Jerseys 5th Congressional District

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Two-term Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer will square off against Republican Frank Pallotta in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District on November 3.

The candidates

Gottheimer is currently in his second term as the representative for the 5th District. He is a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and a former advisor for the presidential campaigns of Wesley Clark, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. Affectionately known as a “human fundraising machine,” Gottheimer is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, the New Democrat Coalition, and the Climate Solutions Caucus. 

Gottheimer is also a founding member of the Problem Solvers Coalition, a coalition of 48 Democrats and 48 Republicans designed to work together on bipartisan issues in legislation.

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Pallotta, Gottheimer’s Republican challenger, is a small business owner and financier. His campaign platform is centered on cutting taxes, investing in New Jersey’s infrastructure, and making healthcare more affordable. 

Pallotta entered the race just 13 months before New Jersey’s Republican primary but told the Bergen Record that he was not too concerned about his campaign finances.

“I’m not a stranger to getting on the phone,” said Pallotta to the Record. “I have an idea of what it will take. It takes money to win. It doesn’t take money to run. If you have the right message, I think the money flows.”

The district

New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District is the state’s most northern district and covers New Jersey’s northern border. The district is home to the counties of Bergen, Sussex, Passaic, and Warren.

In the 2016 presidential election, the district narrowly voted for President Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in a 49-48% split of the vote, according to Daily Kos. The 5th District is one of 30 across the United States which voted for President Trump in 2016 but is currently represented by a Democrat in the House. 

Prior to Gottheimer’s election to office, the district had not been represented by a Democrat since Percy Hamilton Stewart left office in 1933.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Gottheimer has raised substantially more for his campaign than his opponent. Gottheimer has brought in nearly $7 million this cycle, spent over $2.7 million, and has over $8.3 million in the bank while Palotta has raised $1.9 million, spent $1.4 million, and has around $533,000 in cash on hand. 

What experts say

The race between Gottheimer and Pallotta is rated as “safe Democratic” by the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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