National Republicans are looking to find a self-funder to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in 2020, Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) told the New Jersey Globe.
“I’ve heard the national committee is saying they want to try to find somebody that’s a self-funder,” Auth said about possible Republican challengers to the two-term congressman. “Probably, somebody with a lot of money would be helpful.”
Gottheimer is a prolific fundraiser. He ended his reelection campaign with more than $4.1 million banked, and he raised roughly $7 million during the cycle.
Before Gottheimer won in 2016, Republicans had controlled the district’s House seat for more than 80 years, and the district narrowly backed President Donald Trump over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016’s presidential elections.
Trump’s popularity in the state has waned since then, and the recent prolonged government shutdown didn’t help his job approval figures. On the other hand, voters are fickle, and the president’s poll numbers have seen a slight bump following his State of the Union speech.
Should voters forget about some of Trump’s less popular moves and should the economy continue its contented hum, Auth said, the president may prove a boon instead of a lead weight to Gottheimer’s 2020 challenger.
“Some people have never been in an economy like this before in their lives. If they grew up and started to get into the workforce at the beginning of the Obama presidency, they had an eight-year recession. Now, they’re enjoying a little bit of economic prosperity. They’re going to take a liking to it,” Auth said. “I think if that trend continues, President Trump may have coattails long enough to help somebody get through.”