In the Dem. primary Jason Castle received 6,274 votes and Adam Gussen 9,842 votes, and in the Rep. primary Scott Garrett received 24,055 votes.
How do you feel after the primary?
No regrets, the movement was important. It is essential to provide a better choice for CD 5 residents. Meeting people and going down that path was worthwhile.
Have you talked with Adam Gussen?
Primary night I met with Adam Gussen at Rep. Rothman’s hotel where he asked me for my support. My first concern is to get President Obama re-elected. I feel that Adam has an uphill battle, and he can help himself if he works to get the President elected. Gussen has to build a real campaign first. You can only help those who want to help themselves.
What went well and not so well?
For a first effort I was pleased with getting 35% of the vote, endorsements, and winning in Sussex, Warren, Teaneck and Westwood. Anywhere I went, where people could meet me and I could establish gotv, the movement started quickly and I was able to do well. I started out handicapped: no previous elective office, no experience with Bergen County politics, campaign manager unfamiliar with the terrain, not being a CD 5 resident, and not having much money. In the end not getting the party line hurt; not having enough time nor money to explain to people that neither Rothman nor Pascrell were the standard-bearers in CD 5 (so many people were unaware of the changes brought about by redistricting); and so much attention in Bergen and Passaic on the Pascrell/Rothman race. With more funds I would have mailed literature.
How about problems with the Democratic Committee of Bergen County (DCBC) which carolh documented in Blue Jersey?
I got no help there; it was frustrating – a lesson learned. As a young guy passionate about helping the community I was disheartened that the DCBC was not more supportive. They made clear initially they were going to endorse Jim McQueeny regardless, but then he dropped out. Afterward following weeks of requests there were delays in getting the DCBC Committee member list which I finally received three days before the deadline, and the list did not have phone numbers. I asked for an extension to get the required signatures but it was denied. I had the signatures prepared on the day of the deadline, but not yet notarized and was told that dropping them off the next day would be OK. I dropped them off but later was told I did not meet the deadline and would not be included in the DCBC committee vote.
Have you found a place to live in Teaneck?
We have been looking and Sunday we saw three places. I and my wife are about to make a decision with a plan to move by July 1.
Will you get involved in local politics and run again for Congress?
Five years ago I was not interested in politics. I am now, but Obama is the priority. I definitely want to stay in touch and active locally. More broadly issues remain and cannot die, and our dedication cannot subside. Issues of unemployment, education, taxes and overseas matters are important. If Scott Garrett wins the upcoming election I wholeheartedly want to run against him. Two years down the road with time to talk to constituents, to show how I differ from Garrett and with redistricting changes clearer to everyone, I would have a better chance. If Adam wins the upcoming election and represents the district well he will have achieved the key goal of bringing representation to the fifth district which better meets the people’s needs.