Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale) has no plans to challenge Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in New Jersey’s 5th district next year.
“As I sit here today, I don’t imagine doing it,” Schepisi told the New Jersey Globe. “You never say never, but I’m not running.”
Schepisi was widely viewed as the strongest potential rival to Gottheimer in New Jersey’s 5th district.
Voter registration in the district is almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Donald Trump carried the 5th by one percentage point in 2016.
She is seeking re-election to a fifth term in the State Assembly this fall.
Any challenge to Gottheimer, known as the “human fundraising machine” for his skill at raising money, could immediately become a full-time job. He raised $7 million in the last cycle and has more than $4 million in his campaign warchest.
Three of the four of the Democrats who flipped Republican House seats in New Jersey last year entered the race in 2017. The fourth, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis), got in the race quickly after Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor) announced his retirement on the day Van Drew was re-elected to a fourth term in the State Senate.
Gottheimer won the seat in 2016 against seven-term Rep. Scott Garrett by a 51%-47% margin. He was re-elected by fourteen points in the 2018 mid-term election against former Cresskill councilman John McCann.
Schepisi, 47, would be the early front-runner if the 39th district State Senate seat opens in 2021. The incumbent, 84-year-old Gerald Cardinale, is preparing to seek a 13th term and Schepisi would not challenge him for the seat.