The New Jersey Globe projects that Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) has won re-election, defeating Republican Billy Prempeh in the 9th congressional district.
A former teacher and mayor of Paterson, Pascrell was first elected to Congress in 1996, defeating Rep. Bill Martini (R-Clifton). He hasn’t faced a truly competitive general election in his Passaic County-based district since, although in 2012, he had to beat fellow Rep. Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) in the Democratic primary after their districts were merged.
Pascrell has long been regarded as one of New Jersey’s most tireless and quotable politicians, and though he’s easily the oldest member of the state’s delegation at age 85, he’s shown few signs of flagging.
Prempeh, a young U.S. Air Force veteran, first emerged on the political scene in 2020, losing to Pascrell 66%-32%. He announced a rematch bid soon afterwards, but while he’s a more active opponent than Pascrell has faced in the past, he never really caught on outside of online conservative circles.
When all is said and done, Pascrell may win by a lower margin than he has in years, thanks to the new lines of the 9th district. The new congressional map put in place this year shifted the district towards Republicans – it would have voted for Joe Biden by 19 points, down from 26 points on the old map – in order to make neighboring Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) safer.