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Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

Kreibich struggles to raise money for primary vs. Gottheimer

NJ-5 progressive raises just $63k in 4th quarter

By David Wildstein, January 31 2020 11:59 am

Arati Kreibich has raised $170,025 for her challenge to Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in the Democratic primary, numbers that don’t bode well as she makes her case that she can hold the 5th district congressional seat in the general election.

Kreibich, a Glen Rock councilwoman, brought in just $63,193 during the 4th quarter of 2019 and has $105,977 cash-on-hand.  That comes after an agressive online fundraising campaign.

She is challenging Gottheimer from the left, saying the two-term incumbent has a record that is too moderate for the North Jersey district.

Gottheimer has a warchest of $7,119,926 after raising $918,357 during the last three months of 2019.  The human fundraising machine’s total haul for last year was $3,456,996.

“We don’t need to match Rep. Gottheimer’s millions to win this primary,” said Alexander Deatrick, Arati’s campaign manager. “With over $100,000 cash-on-hand, we have the resources we need to scale up our ground game and do what the incumbent can’t: have tens of thousands of face-to-face conversations directly with voters about the issues that matter, like universal healthcare and holding Trump accountable.”

Two Republican contenders to challenge Gottheimer have substantially outraised Kreibich.

Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali has raised $861,900 and has banked $728,588.  Investment banker Frank Pallotta reported raising $510,899 in 2019 and has $382,483 cash-on-hand.

Kreibich has brought in less money than Stephanie Schmid, a former U.S. State Department official who has raised more than $100,000 in two successive fundraising quarters in her bid to oust 20-term Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) in the state’s most Republican House district.

Gottheimer has raised more than $15 million since first becoming a candidate for Congress less than five years ago.

Donald Trump carried New Jersey’s 5th district by one percentage point in 2016– a 4,089-vote plurality.  The district has 6,514 more Democrats than Republicans.

That’s a shift from a GOP registration advantage of 2,370 on Election Day 2016 when Gottheimer, a former Clinton White House speechwriter and Microsoft executive, ousted seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in 2016 by a 51%-47% margin.

This story was updated at 1:21 PM with comment from Deatrick.

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