Citing family obligations – but also hinting of a 2024 run for office — Fred Schneiderman ended his bid to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in New Jersey’s 5th district in the June 7 Republican primary.
That sets up an essentially head-to-head race between U.S. Marine combat veteran Nick De Gregorio and retired investment banker Frank Pallotta to take on Gottheimer in the fall, although Schneiderman’s name will remain on the ballot. So will a minor candidate, Seb Skenderi.
“Due to my first priority, my family, I must hereby withdraw my 2022 candidacy,” Schneiderman said. “While disappointing at the moment, I’m confident I’ll again seek and serve elected office.”
He said that he will “regroup with great determination and assess where and how I can best serve our nation going forward and which position I will seek in the 2024 election.”
One Schneiderman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the campaign, said that a bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate against Democrat Bob Menendez is on the table.
The Cresskill businessman had been a wildcard in his bid for a House seat. Former Trump campaign and White House advisor Kellyanne Conway was directing his campaign, and he had signed on Larry Weitzner of Jamestown Associates, one of the top Republican media firms in the nation.
But Schneiderman never wrote the kind of personal check some thought he would, and watched De Gregorio win the organization line in Bergen and Pallotta get party support in Passaic and Sussex. As of the end of March, Schneiderman had raised $279,842, more than half of it from a personal loan. His TV ads were minor at best, reportedly spending four-figures a week.
Schneiderman’s name will remain on the primary ballot – military and overseas ballots went out on April 23. He stopped short of endorsing another candidate.
“I believe I am the most qualified Republican candidate to tackle inflation, immigration, energy and other major issues confronting our nation,” he said. “I also believe I am the best candidate to defeat the Democratic incumbent this November.”
He declined an invitation to participate in a New Jersey Globe/Save Jersey debate tonight, as did Pallotta. As a result, De Gregorio will appear alone.
“These are challenging times for our nation and our state. My desire to serve and to help solve the many problems facing us compelled me to run for Congress,” Schneiderman said. “The best part of this experience has been meeting and talking to so many men and women firsthand and listening to their frustrations and aspirations.”
Schneiderman said his strategy of not concentrating on party convention votes and going direct to primary votes – “putting people over politics” – was working.
“The support I received in just the last month confirms my belief that my three decades of business success and my heart for people would make me a truly impactful elected official of and for the people,” he said.