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

Prempeh beats Walsh in NJ-9 Republican primary

Young Air Force veteran takes on Pascrell, a 12-term incumbent

By David Wildstein, July 09 2020 12:38 pm

Billy Prempeh, a 30-year-old Air Force veteran, will win the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th district.  He will face 12-term incumbent Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) in the general election.

Prempeh leads Timothy Walsh, the Bergen County Young Republicans, vice chair, with 77% of the vote.

He won 82% in the Bergen County portion of the district, and 60% in Secaucus, the only Hudson County municipality in the 8th.

Passaic County remains slow in counting ballots, but Prempeh had the support of the Passaic GOP organization and his 3,853-vote margin Bergen makes it unlikely that Walsh has any path to victory.

Pascrell shellacked his two primary opponents, progressives Zina Spezakis and Alp Basaran, with more than 81% of the vote.

The 8th district is heavily Democratic.  Pascrell defeated Republican Eric Fisher in 2018 by a 70%-29% margin, and won in 2016 by a 70%-28% margin against Republican Hector Castillo.  Democrats have a 5-1 voter registration edge and Hillary Clinton carried the 8th by 31 percentage points against Donald Trump four years ago.

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