House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the number three member of the Democratic congressional leadership and one of the most influential people in American politics today, has endorsed Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) for re-election in New Jersey’s 5th district.
“I’m proud to support Rep. Josh Gottheimer because at this defining moment for our country, we need leaders in Congress who will be strong voices for our values and stand up for what is right,” said Clyburn. “I find Josh to be a principled leader and committed public servant who puts his constituents first.”
Clyburn’s endorsement of Joe Biden in the South Carolina Democratic primary played a transformational role in the presidential nominating process earlier this year.
After faring badly in Iowa and New Hampshire, Clyburn helped Biden secure a 49%-20% win over Bernie Sanders in South Carolina that launched the former vice president’s sudden national juggernaut.
“As a former senior advisor to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, he understands the urgency of our fight for racial justice, and he has been an important voice in Congress on criminal justice reform, voting rights and making healthcare more affordable and accessible,” Clyburn said. “Josh is focused on bringing people together to expand opportunities and build a stronger future for all.”
Gottheimer, a former Clinton White House speechwriter who flipped a House seat in 2016 that Republicans had held for 36 years, faces a primary challenge from progressive Arati Kreibich, a Glen Rock councilwoman.
Sanders has endorsed Kreibich, but Gottheimer has the backing of Gov. Phil Murphy, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.