The Republican, elected to Congress in 2003, is one of the most vexing in an already right-leaning House of Representatives; a wingnut the tea party loves to love. The Democrat, who went to Congress in 1997, came out early for Barack Obama when nearly the entire NJ Democratic establishment was pushing Hillary Clinton, and became the president’s Northeast Regional co-Chair.
Now, the Democratic members of NJ’s congressional redistricting commission have submitted a final map that pits Scott Garrett (NJ-5) against Steve Rothman (NJ-9) in one competitive district, as reported in nj.com this morning.
John Farmer, Jr. the former New Jersey Attorney General and current Rutgers-Newark Law School Dean, now is empowered to decide between proposals from the Democratic and Republican teams, six members each. What the GOP proposes is still unclear.
New Jersey’s population loss loses us one seat in the House, and the Democrats’ plan focuses on the north, the region that has seen the greatest shifts. The NJ congressional delegation as it stands now is 7 Democrats, 6 Republicans. The Democrats’ map would create 6 safe districts for Democrats, 5 for Republicans and the competitive district one both parties – and perhaps two incumbent congressmen – would have to battle for.