Buoyed by a weaker-than-usual showing by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) in last month’s election, U.S. Army veteran Vince Micco says he will seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 9th district in 2024.
“I’m doing it. I’m already raising money, making the rounds, meeting with Republican leaders in the ninth,” Micco told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m already earnestly underway.”
The 51-year-old North Arlington resident served two tours of duty in Iraq and continues to be an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.
This would be Micco’s third bid for Congress: he challenged Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Englewood) in the old 9th district, in 2006 and 2008, receiving 28% and 31%, respectively in a heavily-Democratic district that gave 59% of the vote to John Kerry in 2004 and 61% to Barack Obama in 2008. After New Jersey lost a House seat in reapportionment after the 2010 census, Pascrell defeated Rothman in the Democratic primary.
Billy Prempeh, an U.S. Air Force veteran, held Pascrell to 55% this year; in 2020, before congressional redistricting made the 9th more competitive as a way of shoring up seats held by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), Pascrell beat Prempeh by 34 points.
A former mayor of Paterson, this was Pascrell’s closest race since he unseated Rep. Bill Martini (R-Clifton) in 1996 with 51% of the vote.
“It’s a winnable district. It’s a lot more realistic than it used to be,” Micco said. “I intend to win. The unanimous response has been ‘thank god you’re running.’”
Prempeh has also told supporters that he plans a third race against Pascrell.
Pascrell, who will be 87 years old in the next election, is planning to seek his fifteenth term in Congress.
A vice president of commercial lending at Parke Bank, Micco has deep roots in Bergen County. He served as Young Republican chairman 20 years ago, and was the executive director of the Bergen County Republican Organization in 1997 and 1998.