Home>Local>Bergen>38th district Dems hire ex-DCCC staffer Reed Elman to manage re-election campaign

Reed Elman. (Photo: Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee).

38th district Dems hire ex-DCCC staffer Reed Elman to manage re-election campaign

Lagana, Swain and Tully taking 2023 contest seriously

By David Wildstein, March 03 2023 6:31 pm

Taking Republicans in a potentially competitive Bergen County district during Gov. Phil Murphy’s mid-term elections seriously, three Bergen County lawmakers have hired an experienced Democratic operative to manage their campaigns in the 38th district.

Reed Elman, a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer, will run the re-election campaigns of  State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn), and Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield).

Elman was the digital director for the DCCC’s Sunbelt region in 2022, running a coordinated digital and media strategy for Democratic House candidates in 12 states, including Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.  He helped raise money through in-house fundraising platforms and assisted candidates with their online fundraising efforts.

The California native worked for political consulting firms during the 2018 and 2020 cycle, participating in campaigns for Amy Klobuchar, Charlie Crist, and the Democratic Party of Georgia during a cycle when they flipped two United States Senate seats.   As a graduate student, Elman worked at data guru Tom Bonior’s firm, TargetSmart.

“I am incredibly excited to welcome Reed to our team as campaign manager,” said Lagana.  “His record of winning tough races will be critical as we prepare for what could be our most competitive re-election bid yet.  Under his leadership, we will keep LD 38 in Democratic hands in November.”

Lagana won by less than six points in the last election, causing Democrats to take this year’s contest seriously.

The path to any Republican plan to take control of the New Jersey Legislature must include capturing the 38th district, which Democrats have held steadily but not always decisively since 2003.   Under a new map approved during the last round of redistricting, Murphy won the 38th by 52%-47% in his 2021 re-election campaign.  Joe Biden won the new 38th by 14 percentage points, although that was under a federal turnout model.

With recent local wins in towns like Paramus and Maywood, Republicans are hopeful that they could break through for the first time since 2001.

Glen Rock businessman Barry Wilkes and crisis intervention counselor Gail Horton are running for the Assembly, but Republicans have not yet found a candidate to take on Lagana.. Their top prospects – Paramus Councilman Robert Kaiser and former Assemblyman Guy Talarico (R-Oradell) – decline to run.

“I’m proud to work for a team with a record of delivering results for their constituents,” Elman said. “Together, we’ll win this race and send them back to Trenton.”

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