Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich isn’t matching Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s fundraising records.
The primary challenger declined to provide an exact fundraising figure Thursday, but said she expected to report amassing tens of thousands of dollars in contributions by the end of September.
“Definitely tens of thousands, so we’re getting there. I announced July 29th, so I didn’t even do the whole quarter, and the summer is tough,” Kreibich said. “November elections that are coming up in New Jersey, which really should be a focus in lots of ways as well.”
Kreibich announced her campaign at the end of July.
The challenger’s fundraising figures will likely fall far short of Gottheimer’s.
Aside from a single Federal Election Commission reporting period last year when he was outraised by now-Rep. Mikie Sherrill, the two-term congressman has consistently been the Garden State’s strongest fundraiser.
In 2016, he raised $4.8 million in his bid to oust Rep. Scott Garrett. In 2018, he raised $6.8 million.
It’s unlikely Kreibich will be able to match those figures, and her running a primary against a Democratic incumbent won’t make it any easier.
Most of the fifth district’s elected Democrats, including all four of its Democratic county chairs, have backed Gottheimer for re-election, and Kreibich said a new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rule is making it more difficult for her to staff up her campaign.
“when you’re primarying an incumbent, there’re always issues, especially with the DCCC blacklist, and it definitely has an impact,” Kreibich said. “It’s difficult to find, in general, folks who want to work with you, and really it’s a shame.”
After a number of Democrats, including those in high-level leadership positions, were ousted in primaries last year, the DCCC implemented a rule that bars the organization from doing business with vendors who back incumbents’ primary challengers.
Kreibich said she’s made some hires despite the ban, though she did not say which positions on her campaign she had filled.
“When we’re doing primaries, the establishment needs to have a way of letting everybody participate in that process before starting to cut people off at the knees,” Kreibich said. “If we don’t do that, and if we keep protecting the status quo, how are we ever going to get ahead?”