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Congressional Election Guide: District 5

After redistricting, state’s northernmost district doesn’t get the race it was looking for

By Matt Manochio, NJSpotlight.com

U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett, the current G.O.P. occupant and a resident of Sussex County, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2002 and appears primed to strongly defend the seat. He faces a primary challenge from two Bergen County residents, Michael Cino and Bonnie Somer, both of whom concede the odds of winning are against them.

The Democrats also have a contested primary. , former and Lyndon LaRouche Democrat Diane Sare are vying for their .

But that contest won’t provide the matchup Republicans had envisioned when they drew the new district lines last December, putting U.S. Rep. Steven Rothman, who currently represents the 9th District, into Garrett’s GOP-leaning 5th.

Despite Democrats’ pleas, to the newly constituted 9th and challenge fellow Democrat and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, who currently represents the state’s 8th District but whose home was redrawn into the 9th District.

“I think the fact that Congressman Rothman, and to some extent Pascrell, decided it would be better to fight a fellow Democrat rather than take [Garrett)] on suggests there’s some recognition that he’s there to stay,” said John Weingart, associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

“And that the perception about whether he’s [Garrett] too conservative for the district -- whether right or wrong in the past -- it seems to be wrong now,” Weingart added.

The 5th Congressional district wraps around the top of New Jersey like a sideways L. It encompasses most of Warren and Sussex counties, a few Passaic County municipalities, and parts of Bergen County.

Essentially, the largely rural 5th District lost some Warren towns to the newly drawn 7th District and gained some of Bergen’s municipalities: Lodi, Bogota, Hackensack, Maywood, Fair Lawn . Democrats have the registration advantage in some of these communities.

Bob Yudin, chairman of the Bergen County Republican Organization, said the additional potential Democratic voters wouldn’t be enough to threaten the seat from changing political hands.

“All of northern Bergen County -- Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes, Mahwah, Oakland -- these are Republican towns,” he said. “Also, the possible competition, its all second- and third-tier Democrats”

Gussen, who said Republicans might be overlooking the change in voter registration numbers that favor his side.

“Without a question, it’s … more competitive,” Gussen said. He said that 10 years ago the split in voter registration in Bergen County was 60/40 in favor of the GOP. Now it’s 52/48 in favor of the Republicans.

“It’s a huge reshaping of the voter registration that really makes this -- number one -- a winnable district for a Democrat,” Gussen said. “And a district that Scott Garrett is no longer right for.”

Read more at NJSpotlight.com

Dr.Doom June 02, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Tomy P. 90% of what you said is Obama's fault not because he did it, but he didnt revert the policies of the previous president
patchreader2 June 03, 2012 at 03:02 PM
People use the word unsustainable as if it was something new to us. Nothing on this earth and beyond is sustainable. In private business if you can't sell because you got sick, that is unsustainable and your business will close. In nature if you don't water a plant, that is unsustainable and the plant will die. In taxes if there is no revenue that is unsustainable and there will be no services ranging from defense to fixing roads. In the southern states, if there is no money being collected from the Northeastern states, they will have no money for their welfare programs. That is unsustainable. It takes a type A personality in congress to fight for NJ to bring money to NJ. Garrett is not a type A personality. He belongs in a basement, low profile, watching the news on TV, and not being the center of attention. We need a hawk in Congress that knows how to fight for us and knows how to get the job done for us.
patchreader2 June 03, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Big Ben, Are you aware of anything Stealth Garrett has done for anyone in NNJ other than collect a paycheck and pay his staff? Even for big business. It's okay. I am cool with that. I want to vote for this man but nobody can tell be what he has done. He's pro life. Okay. How much money has he brought to NJ to help fund pro life organizations in NNJ? He's pro private industry. Fine. How much money has he brought to the state to support construction, pharmaceuticals, financial, etc? Won't somebody please tell me? He's pro that and this, and against crime. How much money has he brought to NNJ to put support homeland security, and law enforcement, or traffic safety? Show me the money. Has anyone ever seen this man other than in pictures?
patchreader2 June 03, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I want a congressman that takes no prisoners and votes against any money going to the so called conservative but in reality welfare states in of the South. I think Garrett is looking to retire in the south and is prepping his way there.
paul smith June 03, 2012 at 10:36 PM
You hit the nail on the head. Let the red states govern themselves according to the Tea Party Mantra- that means we actually geta a fair shake from Washingtion instead of 61 cents for every buck sent to the GOP congress. I pray that people understand what a useless hypocrite Garrett is and turn him out of office. He can then retire to his shrub farm and get those tax breaks.

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