Nowadays it’s never too early to start a congressional campaign, and it helps to be able to self-fund. The NJ Globe reports that Frank Pallotta, a Republican and former investment banker with the ability to self-fund, has taken the first step toward exploring a challenge to Democratic incumbent Representative Josh Gottheimer in Congressional District 5. Pallotta is a strong supporter of President Trump.
Gottheimer has $4.1 million cash-on-hand as he prepares to seek re-election in a district almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Donald Trump carried the 5th in the 2016 presidential election.
Gottheimer won his seat in 2016 after a tough battle defeating long-time incumbent and ultra conservative Scott Garrett by a vote of 172,587 to 157,690. He won re-election in 2018 by a vote of 169,628 to 87,617 against a Republican under-funded candidate.
His district spans parts of Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Warren Counties. It’s the more progressive eastern municipalities like Teaneck which led him to victory each time.
So far in the current congressional session that started January 1, 2019, he has voted totally in sync with his Democratic colleagues. He can be counted on for progressive votes on social issues, but he sometimes differs on financial/economic matters.
Gottheimer is Co-Chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. With some 48 members, half Democrats and half Republicans, it is committed to getting to “yes” on key issues. It was difficult in the prior congressional session to gain consensus. However, In 2019 eight reforms included in the rules package were passed with bipartisan support.
You can find his biography, positions, voting record and more in VOTE SMART here.
NJ Globe reports Pallotta helped build Morgan Stanley’s global mortgage franchise to over 2,000 employees before he retired in 2008. He later co-founded a New Jersey-based startup to help homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis that helped him win a Time Magazine award for one of the 50 best inventions of 2010.
The Mahwah businessman says, “We need to begin to recognize that the far reaching and lasting benefits of spending cuts, lower taxes and the continuation of President Trump’s economic plan, will far outweigh the specter of a party whose increasingly socialist policies threaten our livelihood and prosperity.”