Frank Pallotta has won the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th district and will face two-term Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in the general election.
With most of the Bergen County votes now counted, Pallotta has a 4,906-vote lead over former Cresskill Councilman John McCann, 50%-35%.
Teacher James Baldini finished third with 10%, followed by perennial candidate Hector Castillo with 5%.
McCann had the GOP organization line in Bergen County, but won it by just 1,177 votes, 47%-40% after Pallotta secured endorsements from State Sen. Gerald Cardinale, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and other Republican legislators.
Bergen still has 17,000 provisional ballots to be counted countywide. It’s not immediately clear how many are from the 5th district, but provisional ballots typically mirror the trends of other votes.
Pallotta carried Sussex by 4,272, Warren by 1,164, and Passaic by 647.
The former investment banker from Mahwah had the organization line in Passaic and the support of Sussex County GOP Chairman Jerry Scanlan and all five Sussex freeholders.
“I am truly honored and humbled to have earned the support of fifth district Republicans in this important first step toward finally taking back our district for the people, Pallotta said. “From the beginning of this campaign, I vowed that we would fight for every vote, and that no community would be left behind.”
Now Pallotta shifts to Gottheimer, who won a Democratic primary against progressive Arati Kreibich, a Glen Rock councilwoman, with more that 73% of the vote.
“After years of Josh Gottheimer’s irresponsible leadership, I felt that the voters of this District deserved to be heard by a political outsider with a sympathetic ear and an open heart,” he said. “This week, the voters have rewarded our team’s consistent and purpose-driven outreach, and I could not be more grateful for the trust they have placed in me.”
Known as the Human Fundraising Machine, Gottheimer reported a warchest of more than $8.4 million last month.
“It’s time for a new brand of conservative leadership in North Jersey. We will take our hard-earned victory as a mandate to unite the grassroots Republicans across the fifth district to take on Nancy Pelosi’s favorite rubber stamp: Josh Gottheimer,” said Pallotta. “Josh ran as a bipartisan problem solver, but Washington changed him.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has labeled Pallotta the “Subprime King of New Jersey” yesterday, accusing him of encouraging irresponsible lending through high-interest mortgage loans while working at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.
Pallotta has denied that.
“To be clear, in my 25 years on Wall Street, I never spent a single day in subprime mortgages,” he told the New Jersey Globe last year. ““It’s an unfortunate and inaccurate generalization by …the DCCC to simply state that anyone on Wall Street who worked in any mortgage area, would automatically be associated with the subprime crisis let alone be branded a subprime king.”
More vote-by-mail ballots are expected to come in over the next week, and the vote tallies listed in this article do not include mail-in ballots received but not yet counted by election officials, provisional ballots that won’t be counted for at least a week and disqualified mail-in ballots that may be cured at a later date.