In 2020, after Senator Cory Booker dropped out of the Democratic primary for president, Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) symbolically crossed the Hudson and endorsed former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Now, with Gottheimer and Sherrill both up for re-election, Bloomberg seems to be repaying the favor.
As reported by Politico earlier today, millions of dollars Bloomberg donated to two Democratic PACs – the House Majority PAC (HMP) and VoteVets, a veteran-focused group – have been steered towards TV ads defending Gottheimer and Sherrill.
HMP is spending $2.3 million on Gottheimer, while VoteVets is spending $2 million on Sherrill. In both cases, the PACs are running TV ads slamming the two incumbents’ Republican challengers, Frank Pallotta and Paul DeGroot, on the issue of abortion.
Neither Gottheimer nor Sherrill is exactly desperate for financial support. Gottheimer had $14 million on-hand as of the most recent fundraising reports and Sherrill had $3.4 million; their opponents each had less than $300,000 left in the bank, and both have yet to air any TV ads.
The districts Gottheimer and Sherrill are running to represent aren’t hugely vulnerable, either. While both representatives flipped historically red territory in their first elections – Gottheimer in 2016, Sherrill in 2018 – the new congressional map approved by the state’s redistricting commission makes their districts significantly more Democratic.
In an election cycle where Republicans are competitive in some deep-blue territory, however, national Democrats surely are happy to use Bloomberg’s money as an insurance policy against surprise upsets.