The Human Fundraising Machine can also be known as the Eight-Digit Man.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer has accumulated a behemothic $10,033,321 warchest after raising a Brobdignagian $966,157 in the 2nd quarter of 2021. He becomes the first House member in New Jersey history to surpass the $10 million cash-on-hand mark.
Gottheimer has raised a towering $2,050,023 this year as he prepares to seek a third term in Congress from New Jersey’s 5th district. – and as the state prepares to draw new districts for the next five federal elections.
Since announcing his first bid for Congress in March 2015, Gottheimer has raised a massive $21,649,272 not including what he raised for other Democratic candidates in the last cycle.
The four New Jersey Democrats who now occupy hugely competitive House seats – Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) – have raised more than $7 million so far this year and have a combined cash-on-hand of nearly $17.6 million.
The 5th district congressional seat had been held by Republicans for 36 years until Gottheimer, a former speechwriter in the Clinton White House, unseated seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) by 14,897 votes, 51%-47%, in 2016. Donald Trump carried the 5th district by a 48%-47% margin against Hillary Clinton that year.
Gottheimer was re-elected in 2018 by 41,291 votes, 56%-42%, against Republican John McCann, a former Cresskill councilman. In 2020, he faced Republican Frank Pallotta, an investment banker who spent $1.435 million of his own money and won a third term by a 31,842-vote plurality, 53%-46%.
Pallotta is one of three Republicans eyeing a chance to take on Gottheimer in a still-to-be-determined district, along Sussex-Wantage Board of Education President Nick D’Agostino and Nick DeGregorio, a retired Marine infantry officer who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 5th has steadily become Democratic since it was drawn in 2012 with 13,085 more Republicans than Democrats. The GOP registration edge dropped to 2,370 in 2016 and as of July 1 had 17,790 more Democrats than Republicans.
The district went for Mitt Romney by two points in 2012 and Donald Trump by one point in 2016 before giving Joe Biden a five-point win in 2020.
The seat Gottheimer now holds was occupied by Republicans for 100 years, with the exception of a six-year period that Andrew Maguire (D-Ridgewood) served in Congress. Maguire won in the 1974 Watergate landslide and was re-elected twice before Marge Roukema (R-Ridgewood) ousted him in 1980.