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Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff). Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Gottheimer ranked most bipartisan Democrat in the House

Democrat was third overall; Republican Chris Smith ranked 5th overall

By David Wildstein, May 03 2021 6:15 pm

A New Jersey congressman has been named as the most bipartisan Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives by the Lugar Center a Georgetown University, which tracks votes in the House and Senate

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) ranked third overall in the House, with Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) ranking fifth out of 437 Members of Congress and non-voting delegates in 2019 and 2020.  Smith, who is serving his 20th term in Congress, has long been viewed as having an ability to work across the aisle.

“I’m incredibly proud to be named the most bipartisan House Democrat of the 116th Congress. Now, more than ever, we see the importance of putting country and governing over partisan politics and gridlock, said Gottheimer. “I’m going to continue working together with anyone, Democrat or Republican, if the end result is good for Jersey and lives up to our values. That’s the only way we’ll actually solve the problems facing our nation and our communities.”

The Lugar Center excluded Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) from the bi-partisanship rankings because he switched parties after his first year in Congress.  As a Democrat in 2019, Van Drew was ranked 20th.

The other members of the New Jersey House delegation: Reps. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) ranked #75; Mikie Sherill was at # 188; Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) placed at # 131; Bill Pascrell came in at # 140; Donald Norcross (D-Camden) is at # 183, Donald Payne Jr. finished at # 227, Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) at # 240, Albio Sires (D-West New York) at # 294.

The most partisan House member from New Jersey is Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing), who was ranked 402nd out of 437.

To put the numbers in some perspective: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez finished 427th on the bi-partisan score list,

In the U.S. Senate, Bob Menendez was ranked 45th and Cory Booker came in 90th.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Long Island congressman who is seeking the Republican nomination for Governor of New York next year, ranked 19th overall.

Gottheimer is the Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus.

The Lugar Center, named for former Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, promoted informed debates on world issues.  Lugar spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate and was seeking re-election to a 7th term in 2012 when he lost a Republican primary to Richard Mourdock.

In heavily Republican Indiana, Mourdock lost the general election to Democrat Joe Donnelly after suggesting that rape was “something that God intended to happen.”

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