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Frank Pallotta

Franklin Borough officials endorse Pallotta

Mayor, all six councilmembers take sides in race to pick Gottheimer opponent

By David Wildstein, February 18 2020 11:25 am

Investment banker Frank Pallotta continues to demonstrate political support in Sussex County, winning the endorsement of the entire Franklin Borough Council in his bid for the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th district.

Franklin mayor John Sowden and six councilmembers – John Postas, Gilbert “Socko” Snyder, Joey Limon, Stephen Skellenger, Stephen Zydon, and Concetto Formica — today endorsed Pallotta for Congress.

“Frank has maintained a strong presence not only in Sussex County but in Franklin Borough. He has supported multiple events including attending our town Reorganization Meeting on New Year’s Day and a fundraiser to support the Franklin Fire Department,” the officials said in a joint statement.  “Congressional district 5 is a geographically large district, and the fact that Frank has made our Borough a priority demonstrates his dedication to the people he seeks to represent.

All five Sussex County freeholders announced their support of Pallotta last week.

Pallotta has also won the endorsement of Phil Crabb, a former Sussex freeholder and Franklin councilman.

Franklin is the hometown of State Sen. Steve Oroho, who has not endorsed anyone for the nomination.

Sussex has no organization line and makes up about 23% of the Republican primary voters in the district.

The Republican county chairman, Jerry Scanlan, has not yet taken sides in the race.

Pallotta faces Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali, former Cresskill councilman John McCann, Closter mayor John Glidden, teacher James Baldini, college student Jon Dalrymple and perennial candidate Hector Castillo in the GOP primary.

The race to find an opponent for two-term Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) could settle down a bit next month, when Bergen County Republicans hold a convention to award their organization line.  More than half (56%) of the 2018 primary election votes in the 5th came from Bergen County.

Warren makes up 13% of the GOP primary votes in the 5th, and Passaic, which will award their line next month, is about 7%.

Warren County is staying out of the race for now.

McCann was the Republican nominee in 2018 and lost to Gottheimer by a 56%-43% margin.

Gottheimer has a warchest of $7,119,926 after raising $918,357 during the last three months of 2019.  The human fundraising machine’s total haul for last year was $3,456,996.

Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali has raised $861,900 and has banked
$728,588.  Investment banker Frank Pallotta reported raising $510,899 in 2019 and has $382,483 cash-on-hand.  Both are self-financers.

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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