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Republican congressional candidate Frank Pallotta.

Pallotta wins Passaic GOP line

By David Wildstein, February 26 2020 8:05 pm

In the first actual vote in the race to pick a challenger for Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in New Jersey’s 5th district, investment banker Frank Pallotta won the organization line in Passaic County.

Pallotta defeated Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali by a 15 to 4 vote, with Hector Castillo, a Paterson native, receiving two votes.

This represents a setback for former Cresskill councilman John McCann, who won the Passaic line by a 19-4 vote in 2018 against Steve Lonegan.  He received no votes tonight.

Three other Republicans are challenging Pallotta and McCann for the Republican nomination: Closter mayor John Glidden, teacher James Baldini, and college student Jon Dalrymple.

McCann lost to Gottheimer by a 56%-43% margin.

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.

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