Here’s Josh Gottheimer’s 2026 Republican opponent.
Eli Nachmany, a 23-year-old Closter native, left his White House job yesterday to start Harvard Law School.
Nachmany took a leave from New York University to work advance and press Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. After finishing school, he became a speechwriter to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Since March, he worked on education policy as a staffer for the White House Office of American Innovation.
“Being part of the Trump Administration over these last two years has been a high honor, and leaving is bittersweet,” Nachmany told the New Jersey Globe. “That said, while I was a few hours away from New Jersey helping the Administration move our country forward, I watched with disappointment as tax-happy politicians currently in Trenton pushed job creators out of our state. I am eager to start this next chapter in my life, and I look forward to coming back home to the Garden State to make a difference down the road.”
Before heading to Washington, Nachmany worked as an intern to Rep. Scott Garrett and Gov. Chris Christie, and worked on Christie’s campaign for president.
Former State Sen. Joe Kyrillos was serving as an aide to the Secretary of the Interior when he was recruited to run for an open State Assembly seat in the 13th district in 1989. Assemblyman Jay Webber worked as a top aide to Rep. Bill Martini before heading to Harvard Law.
Three of the twelve members of the New Jersey congressional delegation held White House jobs before they were elected to Congress.
Josh Gottheimer and Tom Malinowski worked in the Clinton White House and Andy Kim was a White House staffer under Barack Obama.
Bob Torricelli worked for Vice President Walter Mondale and managed Jimmy Carter’s Illinois campaign against Ted Kennedy in the 1980 Democratic primary; and Andy Maguire (Gottheimer’s Democratic predecessor) worked for Lyndon Johnson at the Department of State and at the United Nations.
White House aides don’t always win.
In 1970, when Democrat Jim Howard held the very Republican Monmouth-based House seat, the GOP candidate was Bill Dowd, a 26-year-old former White House staffer for the still-popular Richard Nixon. Howard won 55%-43%. Dowd ran again in 1972, and with Nixon winning 67% in his district, he held Howard to a 53% win. Dowd was getting ready to run again in 1974, but amidst the Watergate scandal, he didn’t bother. Howard won with 69%.
Fred Bohen, a former White House staffer under LBJ, won just 38% against Peter Frelinghuysen in 1972. He ran again in the Watergate year after Frelinghuysen retired, and lost by ten points against Millicent Fenwick.