Slamming two-term Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) for having a pro-Donald Trump voting record, Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich formally announced her bid for the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th district.
The New Jersey Globe was first to report on Kreibich’s fledgling candidacy last night.
Kreibich, a 44-year-old scientist, is putting Gottheimer in his first contested Democratic primary in what will be his third run for Congress.
“He’s got one of the most pro-Trump records of any House Democrat in Washington, and when he comes home he refuses to explain his votes, hiding behind his position as a leader of the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus,” said Kreibich, a onetime Gottheimer supporter who says the incumbent Democrat has disappointed her.
She says she supports the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, free tuition at public colleges and universities, and wants Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. Kreibach opposes Gottheimer’s efforts to roll back regulations she believes protect the nation against a financial crisis, and alleges the incumbent negotiated a backroom deal to provide $40 billion to Trump to deal with immigration issues.
“We need to have the moral courage and conviction to stand up for what is right and what is fair,” Kreibich said in a video she used to launch her campaign. “Our representatives should stand with people – not corporations.”
Elected to the Glen Rock Borough Council in 2017, Kreibich says she is joining a grassroots activists in a believe that the House seat Gottheimer now holds “could be a bulwark against the tide of Trumpism and the regressive policies that leave too many New Jersey families teetering on the edge of financial disaster.”
“He seems more interested in creating roadblocks for big solutions than solving the problems that make life so tough for families in New Jersey,” Kreibich said. “But you don’t get a nickname like ‘the Human Fundraising Machine’ without losing touch with the people.”
Kreibich is pledging not to take campaign contributions from corporate political action committees, saying the Gottheimer’s campaign is fueled by big checks from the wealthy and special interests.
Gov. Phil Murphy has already endorsed Gottheimer for re-election in 2020.
The district is one of the most politically competitive House seats in the state. The 5th has 4,959 more Democrats than Republicans, but Trump carried the district by one percentage point in 2016, when Gottheimer ousted seven-term incumbent Scott Garrett (R-Wantage).
“In a district President Trump won, the last thing Josh Gottheimer needs is a primary challenger who will push him even further to the left,” said Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). “Let’s just hope he doesn’t lose his temper.”
This story was updated at 12:47 PM with comment from McAdams.