The Human Fundraising Machine, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), has a gigantesque $9.2 million cash-on-hand as he prepares for re-election to a fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gottheimer raised a pythonic $964,768 during the first three months of 2021 and has now banked a cyclopean $9,236,887 in New Jersey’s 5th district. He has outraised every member of the New Jersey House delegation, as he had for every fundraising quarter since he first won a congressional seat in 2016.
The Bergen County Democrat has now raised $20,564,039 since he launched his bid to unseat seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in the spring of 2015. That number doesn’t include more than $2 million he’s raised for other Democrats in New Jersey and across the nation.
A former Clinton White House speechwriter and Microsoft executive, Gottheimer scored his first win when he ousted Garrett by 14,897 votes, 51%-47%, in 2016. Donald Trump carried the 5th district by a 48%-47% margin against Hillary Clinton that year.
Gottheimer was re-elected in 2018 by 41,291 votes, 56%-42%, against Republican John McCann, a former Cresskill councilman. Against Republican Frank Pallotta, an investment banker who spent $1.435 million of his own money, Gottheimer was re-elected by a 31,842-vote plurality, 53%-46%.
Bergen County, which made up 72% of the 5th district vote in the last election, gave Gottheimer a 58%-41% win in 2020. But Pallotta carried the smaller, western portion of the district: Passaic (56%-43%), Sussex (59%-39%), and Warren (58%-41%).
New Jersey’s 5th district has become more Democratic since Gottheimer went to Congress but is still – at least on paper – a swing district that was originally drawn after the 2010 Census to elect a Democrat.
The 5th now has 18,194 more Democrats than Republicans. When it was created to re-elect Garrett in 2012, there were 12,267 more Republicans than Democrats.
Gottheimer, like the rest of his delegation, faces uncertainties in redistricting. More territory outside Bergen County could give him a tougher race – hence the burgeoning warchest – but transitioning out of Sussex and Warren and picking up more of eastern Bergen County might be his preference.