Bernie Sanders has endorsed Glen Rock Councilwoman Arati Kreibich in her primary challenge against Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in New Jersey’s 5th district.
“As a neuroscientist, (Arati Kreibich) understands health care is a right for all, not a privilege,” Sanders said in a tweet on Monday. “Arati decided to take on the incumbent Democrat in her district because she knows that this moment requires bold, progressive leadership. I’m proud to endorse her today.”
Sanders had initially declined to bracket with Kreibich in the July 7 primary election. Ballots have already been mailed and the endorsement comes too late to change that.
Hillary Clinton won the 5th district by more than 20 points against Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. Clinton was aided by a 30-point win Bergen County, which accounted for over 80% of the votes cast in the primary that year.
Clinton defeated Sanders, 39,108 to 25,864. She was able to carry this district by 20% after a nearly 30-point landslide win in Bergen County. The part of Bergen County in the 5th district accounted for over 80% of votes cast in that primary. 85% of Clinton’s votes from the district were from Bergen County, while Sanders only got 72% of his votes in the district from Bergen County.
Gottheimer began his career as a White House speechwriter when Bill Clinton was president.
Sanders also sent out a fundraising email in support of Kreibich’s bid to deny Gottheimer a third term in Congress.