The public battle against incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett is heating up while a challenger battle is percolating slowly. There are more than enough issues to counter Rep. Scott Garrett’s seven-term incumbency in CD 5. Yesterday in Glen Rock Garden State Equality protesters were incensed over Garrett’s bigotry. In addition, many of his votes in Congress are an outrage to the average New Jersey voter. However, few residents pay much attention to what their representative does in Washington.
A key to defeating Rep. Garrett in the 2016 election is a challenger to put out a strong positive message and explain why Garrett is so bad for the district (and America.) This is expensive. Even with $1 million the well-regarded last challenger Roy Cho could not make big TV buys and lost by 13 points. Because this incumbent is so entrenched the challenger will need to launch mayor TV ads, mail rounds of circulars, hire a strong staff, and implement effective street-outreach and get-out-the-vote – an effort much more substantial than in most other districts.
Adam Silverstein, a consultant for unannounced Dem candidate Josh Gottheimer calculates a successful campaign could necessitate as much as $4 million. In just a few months Gottheimer, according to his June 30 FEC report, has raised $631,000, largely out-of-state, from some 150 individuals contributing $2,700 and others donating lesser amounts. In addition he received $6,500 from PAC’s and committees. He has $586,000 cash on hand.
More on strategy below the fold.