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Republican congressional candidate Billy Prempeh, left, with New Jersey Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt.

Passaic GOP picks Prempeh to take on Pascrell

30-year-old Air Force veteran easily wins Passaic screening committee vote

By David Wildstein, February 26 2020 8:47 pm

Passaic County Republicans are backing Billy Prempeh for Congress in New Jersey’s 9th district.

Prempeh and Tim Walsh are battling for the chance to take on 12-term Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) in the general election.

Prempeh defeated Walsh 19 to 3 to win the Passaic GOP organization line at the party’s screening committee tonight.

This is Prempeh’s first organization line.  Walsh has received the backing of the Hudson County Republicans.

Bergen County Republicans will hold their convention on March 23.

The 30-yer-old Prempeh, whose parents immigrated from Ghana in the late 1980s, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 18.

“I’m a fierce supporter of President Donald J. Trump,” Prempeh said. “I believe now is the perfect time for young new leadership, to reignite the spark in the Republican party and bring glory back to our district.”

Walsh is the vice chairman of the Bergen County Young Republicans.

Pascrell faces a primary challenge from Zina Spezakis and Alp Basaran.

The Passaic county-based congressional seat has been held by Democrats since Pascrell ousted freshman Rep. Bill Martini (R-Clifton) in 1996.

Before Martini defeated freshman Rep. Herb Klein (D-Clifton) in 1994, Democrats had held the seat for 34 years.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Prempeh had the organization line in Hudson.  It belongs to Walsh.  

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