The Human Fundraising Machine, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff), leads the New Jersey congressional delegation with $4,911,891 cash-on-hand after first quarter fundraising numbers were reported on Monday.
Gottheimer also raised the most money in the delegation over the first three months of the year: $830,063.
Three of the four freshman Democrats are in solid shape as they prepare to defend seats the flipped from Republican control next year.
A fourth freshman, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis), is struggling in the fundraising category.
Van Drew raised a paltry $120,556 and has only $80,999 in his warchest. Republican David Richter, a former CEO of one of the nation’s largest construction firms, has formed an exploratory committee to mull what would be a largely self-funded challenge to Van Drew.
Republicans held the 2nd district for 24 years until the retirement of Rep. Frank LoBiondo.
In the 7th district, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) raised $562,384 during his first three months as a congressman and has $548,375 cash-on-hand.
Malinowski, the first Democrat to represent the 7th district since Florence Dwyer unseated Harrison Williams in 1956, has already drawn a top-tier Republican challenger: Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) is announcing his candidacy for Congress today.
Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton) had a fundraising haul of $556,839 and now has a warchest of $503,254. Kim unseated a two-term Republican incumbent Tom MacArthur by 3,973 votes last year – the closest House race in the state.
Kim’s 3rd district seat is expected to be hotly contested, although Republicans are unlikely to begin the candidate recruitment process until the federal tax evasion trial of Ocean County GOP chairman George Gilmore is over. The jury has been deliberating in that case since late Friday.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) raised $552,722 and has $779,968 in the bank.
So far, only Reinier Prijten, a financial executive who lives in California, has stepped up to challenge her in the 11th district, which elected a Republican for 34 years before Sherrill won the seat of retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. Prijten, who has never lived in New Jersey before, is moving to Morristown in May.
One Democratic congressman in a hugely safe district may have to depend upon the power of the organization lines and the generosity of party leaders if he faces a primary challenge next year.
Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) raised a mere $15,072 so far this year and has an anemic $28,275 in his campaign account.
The lone Republican in the New Jersey congressional delegation, Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton), raised $236,494 in the first three months of his 20th term in Congress and has $259,388 cash-on-hand.
Smith was outspent by his Democratic challenger, Josh Welle, in 2018 but still won by twelve percentage points.
The other New Jersey House members are in good shape financially after the first quarter in districts where Republicans are not competitive in general elections:
* Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) raised $165,748 and has $894,059 cash-on-hand.
* Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, raised $466,365 and has $2,369,482 in the bank.
* Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) raised $63,569 and has warchest of $182,040.
* Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) brought in $238,207 – his personal best fundraising quarter since entering Congress in 1997 – and has cash-on-hand of $1,724,804.
* Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) took in $82,055 and has $157,072 in her account.