Democratic legislators representing two Bergen County districts have endorsed Rep. Josh Gottheimer for re-nomination in the Democratic primary against Glen Rock councilwoman Arati Kreibich.
The six Democrats – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood), Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood) and Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn), and Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield) – represent a combined sixteen municipalities in New Jersey’s 5th congressional district.
The endorsements, which come in advance of the March 12 Bergen Democratic convention to award the organization line, were not unexpected.
“Josh has been someone we can count on time and again to stand up for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, seniors, and veterans, while always sending a strong message that hatred and bigotry have no place in our communities,” they six said. “He has always been there when we’ve needed him to fight to strengthen gun safety laws, safeguard our environment, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest in our infrastructure, and make health care more affordable for everyone.”
Weinberg endorsed Gottheimer in July, on the day Kreibich entered the race. Tully was serving as the congressman’s district director when he won a special election convention for a State Assembly seat in 2018.
The endorsement letter also referred to Gottheimer’s signature attack on moocher states, saying that he has “worked tirelessly to claw more of our federal dollars back to New Jersey, to help keep our communities safe and lower our property taxes.”
Gottheimer flipped the 5th district seat in 2016, ousting seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) to become the first Democrat to hold the seat in 36 years.
His election also marked the first time Bergen County was represented entirely by Democrats since January 1975 to January 1977, when Reps. Andrew Maguire (D-Ridgewood), Henry Helstoski (D-East Rutherford), Robert Roe (D-Wayne) and Joseph Minish (D-West Orange) all had parts of the county in their districts.
“His historic victory has made a world of difference for our communities and families, while demonstrating the importance of having the right candidate to keep this challenging and historically red district blue,” the legislators said. “With so much at stake, this is more true than ever.”
In November, 137 Democratic municipal chairs and local officials from Bergen County endorsed Gottheimer for re-election.
Gottheimer has $7.1 million cash-on-hand and has raised more than $15 million since filing as a congressional candidate in March 2015.