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Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich, left, with Rep. Josh Gottheimer

Glen Rock councilwoman to challenge Gottheimer in Democratic primary

Arati Kreibich set to enter 5th district congressional race

By David Wildstein, July 28 2019 10:56 pm

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Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich will challenge Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in the Democratic primary next year, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Indivisible 5th, a progressive grassroots organization that has been critical of Gottheimer’s attempt to stake out a moderate record in Congress as chairman of the Problem Solver’s Caucus, had been putting out teasers about candidate for the last two months.

“The challenges we’re facing feel so big and powerful that it’s tempting to give up, but we can’t look away. We have to fight,” Kreibich said in a post on her website.

Kreibich, a mother of two, was elected to the council in 2017 after co-founding Glen Rock After the March, a self-described grassroots group that supports feminism, environmentalism, immigrants’ rights, fighting racial discrimination, and LGBTQI rights.

She has a Ph.D. in neuroscience for the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a science advisor for a non-profit seeking to develop treatments for a rare muscle disease.  Born in India, Kreibich grew up in New York City before moving to Glen Rock, where she served on the borough Environmental Commission.   She formerly taught at Camden County Community College.

Gottheimer, the Human Fundraising machine, has $5,683,966 cash-on-hand.   He is expected to be endorsed by Democratic County Chairs in Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Warren tomorrow.

Gov. Phil Murphy has already endorsed Gottheimer for re-election.

He defeated former Cresskill councilman John McCann by 41,291 votes in a district almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans that Donald Trump carried by one percentage point.

A former Clinton White House speechwriter and Microsoft executive, Gottheimer ousted seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in 2016 by a 51%-47% margin.  He outspent Garrett, $4,782,462 to $2,411,570 and outspent him by $400,250.

Three Republicans have already entered the race to challenge him: McCann, Montvale Mayor Michael Ghassali, and Frank Pallotta, a former investment banker with the ability to self-fund.

In her 2017 local campaign, Kreibich and her running mate, Amy Martin, raised and spent $17,152, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

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