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Closter Mayor John Glidden. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Closter mayor launches congressional bid in NJ-5

Will seek GOP nomination to oppose Gottheimer

By David Wildstein, February 03 2020 7:48 pm

Closter Mayor John Glidden entered the race for the Republican nomination for Congress tonight, becoming the second new candidate in two days to say they want to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in New Jersey’s 5th district.

Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) announced on Sunday that he was entering the race.

Glidden brings the field of candidates to eight.

Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali, investment banker Frank Pallotta, former Cresskill councilman John McCann, teacher James Baldini, college student Jon Dalrymple, and perennial candidate Hector Castillo are already seeking the Republican nomination.

Dana DiRisio, who spent ten years as an aide to Rep. Scott Garrett, dropped out of the race earlier this month.

Glidden was elected mayor in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.  He was unopposed in both races.

The 72-year-old Republican was an Air Force command pilot in the Vietnam War.  He was a councilman for ten years before becoming mayor.

He served as chairman of the Bergen County Utilities Authority from 1992 to 2003, and served as a trustee of Bergen Pines Hospital and the New Jersey Health Research and Educational Trust.  Gov. Thomas Kean appointed him to the Governor’s Commission on Capital Formation for Health Care Facilities in 1985.

Ghassali has raised $861,900 for his House bid, but nearly 70% of that has come from a personal loan to his campaign.   Pallotta reported raising $510,899 in 2019 and has $382,483 cash-on-hand.  Pallotta has loaned $290,000 to his campaign, nearly three-quarters of it in the last three months.

Gottheimer has $7.1 million cash-on-hand after raising $918,357 in the 4th quarter of 2019.

He has raised $15,037,775 since filing as a congressional candidate in March 2015.

Gottheimer faces a Democratic primary challenge from Glen Rock councilwoman Arati Kreibich.

Kreibich brought in just $63,193 in the 4th quarter and has raised $170,025 so far.  She has $105,977 in her warchest.

Donald Trump carried New Jersey’s 5th district by one percentage point in 2016– a 4,089-vote plurality.  The district has 6,514 more Democrats than Republicans.

That’s a shift from a GOP registration advantage of 2,370 on Election Day 2016 when Gottheimer, a former Clinton White House speechwriter and Microsoft executive, ousted seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in 2016 by a 51%-47% margin.

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