Saying he’s “sick and tired of the politicians who go to Washington and think they are in the entertainment business, not in the getting things done business,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) formally kicked off his campaign for a fourth term on Sunday with a rally at the IBEW Local 164 union hall in Paramus.]
“I believe that if we come together, and always put country first, and stand up for the Jersey Values we believe in, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish,” said Gottheimer. “To keep fighting for our veterans, police, and fire fighters. For our children and our seniors. For commonsense ideas and lower taxes. And for bipartisan solutions that solve problems and make a difference in people’s lives. If we keep working together, there’s so much we can achieve.”
With voting already underway — military and overseas ballots went out more than a week ago — Gottheimer’s announcement is no surprise. The left-of-center Bergen County Democrat who co-chairs the House Problems Solvers Caucus, has $13 million cash-on-hand and no primary opponent in a district that got better for him after the Democratic map was chosen.”
“For me, governing is not about getting another like on Facebook – or putting up another Tweet,” Gottheimer stated. “Fixing Route 17 is governing. Building the Gateway Train Tunnel is governing. Supporting our cops and our schools is governing. Fighting terror is governing. Protecting the environment is governing. Defending and strengthening our core values – choice, equality, women’s rights – that is what governing is about – and it’s what you hired me to do. It’s why we must always put what’s best for America over partisan games and bickering.”
Gottheimer acknowledged that he pursued a different path when the bipartisan infrastructure bill hit a partisan roadblock in Congress.
“The far right wanted to do nothing. The far left was pushing for billions in new taxes. I ran right up the middle – and found a way to get it done,” he said. “I helped write the legislation and then took on the far left and far right and got the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed into law. The largest infrastructure bill in a century – which will help fix our crumbling roads and bridges, invest in NJ Transit, climate resiliency to deal with the floods, clean drinking water for our children, and broadband for the unconnected. It will be built by labor – 2 million jobs a year for the next decade. And, we did it without raising taxes.”
But despite a better district and a huge fundraising edge, Gottheimer must still contend with the historical tradition of the President’s party losing House seats in the midterm elections and four Republicans looking to take him on: U.S. Marine combat veteran Nick DeGregorio, who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; businessman Fred Schneiderman; investment banker Frank Pallotta, who was beaten by Gottheimer two years ago; and a fourth candidate Seb Skenderi.
Since ousting seven-term far-right Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in 2016, has made a point of clawing back money for New Jersey from moocher states and testing the country in ways Gottheimer said he never imagined.
“From the last Administration, to COVID-19, to the January 6th attacks on our democracy, our nation has been torn apart — we’ve seen up-close what happens when hatred and extremism overtakes common sense But, we can’t – and we won’t — let the extremists win,” Gottheimer said. “Together, we can bridge the divides and heal the bitter divisions that are fracturing our country. That’s what it’s all about for me – working together to get things done – for the good of our nation. For the good of Jersey. For the good of democracy.”
Gottheimer made his announcement blanked by key Democratic party leaders and election officials: Democratic State Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr., Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliani and Sussex County Democratic Chair Dawne Rowe, legislators, countywide elected officials, union leaders and veterans.
“You never have to worry where I stand – I stand in the common sense, lower taxes, Jersey Values middle – I have fought to lower taxes, cut red tape, and make life more affordable, to fix immigration and protect our borders, to support our firefighters and police and fight crime, and to always respect and help our veterans,” Gottheimer stated. “I’ve battled polluters, worked to defend women’s rights and equal rights. I’ve been tough on Putin, supported our fight against terror, and worked to combat crime and gun violence.”