Senate Minority Whip Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) has endorsed Frank Pallotta for the GOP congressional nomination in New Jersey’s 5th district.
Pennacchio, who represents part of the 5th district in the New Jersey Senate, is the co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in New Jersey.
“Frank’s business acumen and commitment to core conservative values make him the only choice to represent NJ’s 5th District as our candidate to stand with President Trump against Nancy Pelosi and her cronies,” Pennacchio said. “I strongly encourage my fellow Republicans and those who support President Trump to cast their vote for Frank Pallotta in the upcoming primary election.”
Pallotta wants to take on two-term Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in a district Trump carried in 2016 and where voter registration is almost evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.
A former investment banker and first-time candidate, Pallotta faces former Cresskill Councilman John McCann and two others in the Republican primary.
Bergen County makes up about 56% of the total votes cast in a Republican primary in the 5th district and McCann has the organization there. But Pallotta has picked off key endorsements from State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest), Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale), and Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo, the 2017 GOP candidate for Lt. Governor.
Pallotta has the organization line in Passaic County, which makes up 7% of the district. He has the backing of Sussex County GOP Chairman Jerry Scanlan and all five Republican freeholders. Sussex makes up 19% of the district. Warren County has largely stayed out of the 5th district race.
Gottheimer, the Human Fundraising Machine, had a warchest of nearly $7.9 million at the time of his last Federal Election Commission filing in April. He faces Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich in the July 7 primary election.
McCann is seeking a rematch against Gottheimer, who beat him by sixteen percentage points in 2018.
A former Clinton White House speechwriter and Microsoft executive, Gottheimer ousted seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in 2016 by a 51%-47% margin.