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Zina Spezakis is challenging Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) in the Democratic primary for Congress

Pascrell primary foe raises $38k

For now, Zina Spezakis self-financing Democratic primary bid vs. 12-term congressman

By David Wildstein, April 16 2019 1:19 pm

Zina Spezakis has raised $38,424 for her challenge to Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) in the 2020 Democratic primary.

A clean technology investor and environmental activist, Spezakis has loaned $35,000 to her fledgling campaign.

She has spent $360 so far and has $38,063 cash-on-hand.

Spezakis told the New Jersey Globe in March that she needs between $500,000 and $1 million to unseat the popular Pascrell in the primary.

The 48-year-old Spezakis worked for Chase Manhattan, Morgan Stanley and other financial services companies before joining Allianz Global Investors in 2001.  She served as managing director and COO of their operations and risk management divisions and COO of managed accounts for seven years before moving on to investment strategies firms.

The daughter of Greek immigrants who ran a deli across the street from the New York Times, Spezakis grew up in Englewood Cliffs and attended Cornell University.  She received an MBA from the University of Chicago, as well as a master’s degree in international Relations.

Pascrell won his first congressional election in 1996 after serving in the State Assembly and as mayor of Paterson.  He raised $238,207 during the first three months of 2019 and has a warchest of $1,724,804.

He faced eight-term Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Englewood) in the 2012 primary after redistricting eliminated one of New Jersey’s House seats and won 61% of the vote.

Pascrell defeated 2018 primary opponent William O. Henry with 86% of the vote.

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