Bill Pascrell, Jr., an 86-year-old Democratic congressman from Paterson, announced tonight that he will definitely seek re-election to a fifteenth term in 2024.
“No question about it,” Pascrell told a crowd at his annual St. Patrick’s Day event at the Brownstone.
The announcement was expected, since Pascrell has not signaled any intention to retire.
But he suggested that he was hearing murmurs that he was too old to run again, and used tonight’s speech to make his intentions clear.
Pascrell was elected to the House in 1996, narrowly defeating Bill Martini a freshman Republican in New Jersey’s 9th district.
A late bloomer politically, Pascrell as 50 when he won his first term as an assemblyman, 53 when he was elected mayor of Paterson, and became a freshman congressman a few weeks before his 60th birthday.
If he’s re-elected next year, Pascrell he would be just 22 days shy of 90 when his term is up. But age has not slowed Pascrell down; he was one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics in the House.
Last year the Passaic County Democrat won the closest re-election campaign of his career in a new district that was drawn to pick up Republican towns given to him to boost the re-election prospects of two Democratic House members. Josh Gottheimer in the 5th district and Mikie Sherrill in the 11th.
Pascrell defeated Republican Billy Prempeh, a U.S. Air Force veteran, by a 55%-44% margin, the lowest percentage of any Democrat in the New Jersey delegation in 2022.
In 2020, under the old map, Pascrell beat Prempeh by 34 points. He won a Democratic primary with 80% that year.
“I am looking forward to exposing Pascrell’s thirty-year record of wokeism, socialism, open borders, forced vaccinations and anti-American Green New Deal energy policies,” said Vince Micco, a U.S. Army veteran who is seeking the GOP nomination to challenge Pascrell next year.