Since New Jersey was redistricted late last month, leaving the state with one less congressional district and a volatile, unsettled Democratic Party beginning what looks to be an ugly primary contest between Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, focus has been on the 9th, the district Rothman declined to run in.
That leaves the 5th an open question; who will challenge Tea Party darling Scott Garrett?
Connie Wagner appears to have strong and broad support. Among other names, incoming Assemblyman Tim Eustace was early talked up but has since signed on to the (437-member) Draft Connie Wagner for Congress facebook page. Also mulling it over (or being urged in by supporters) are Passaic Freeholder Terry Duffy, Se. Bob Gordon, the victor in November’s most hotly contested race, and (wild card!) NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson.
Adam Gussen, Teaneck’s Deputy Mayor, is the first to make it official, formally announcing he’s in. In the reconfigured 5th, most of reliably-Democratic Teaneck landed in the 5th (it had been Rothman territory).
I don’t know much about Gussen, except that 3 years when he was a councilman ago he filed to primary Valerie Huttle and Gordon Johnson, who serve LD-37 with Sen. Loretta Weinberg, and then dropped out.
Bergen folks, I’d be interested to know your impressions of Gussen and how strong he might be against Garrett.