Dana DiRisio is suspending her campaign for the Republican congressional nomination in New Jersey’s 5th district.
“I entered this race for one reason, and one reason only: to defeat Josh Gottheimer, expose his ineptness and duplicity as an elected official, and return the 5th District to honest Republicans in North Jersey,” DiRisio said on Friday evening. “I am a pragmatist at heart; perhaps a downside of being a conservative Republican, but also a virtue that is needed during these trying political times.”
DiRisio served on Rep. Scott Garrett’s congressional staff for ten years before Gottheimer ousted him in 2016.
“In light of the crowded primary field, scarcity of resources, and in an effort not to further divide the Republican primary voters in the 5th district, I have made the decision to step aside,” said DiRisio. “I have the utmost respect for my fellow primary opponents, who share my vision of taking back the 5th district.”
Her exit leaves seven other candidates in the race for the chance to take on Gottheimer: Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali, former investment banker Frank Pallotta, former Cresskill councilman John McCann, former Bergen County Republican official Paul Duggan, teacher James Baldini, college student Jon Dalrymple, and perennial candidate Hector Castillo.
“I look forward to supporting the Republican nominee and continuing the mission of replacing Josh Gottheimer with a true Representative of the people of the 5th Congressional District,” said DiRisio.
Gottheimer faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from Glen Rock councilwoman Arati Kreibich.