New Jersey Elections Heat Up

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bob Hennelly, WNYC's contributing editor for politics and investigations, discusses two key congressional elections in the Garden State: the Steve Rothman vs. Bill Pascrell primary, and who will fill Donald Payne's seat.


Bob Hennelly

Comments [9]

tom miller from totowa

it is a shame that steve rothman would not challlange rep.garrett,but take on an undeclaried voter,i find rep.pascrell far and above more qualified to lead us in the 9th.cong.dist.just look at his record of what he has brought to our cnty.i"ve followed bill since he took office & not one time has he backed off a challenge.the best vote

May. 24 2012 08:06 AM

I don't live or vote in the new 9th district where Pascrell and Rothman are fighting it out. I tend to support liberal and progressive social values and moderate fiscal values, vote for Democrats, Greens, and independents, etc. Not every time, but often.

But, I hope Shmuley Boteach defeats whichever Democrat makes it through the primary by making a popular appeal to the center. I say this not because I reject or support either Democrat or because I've grown weary of their battle.

Rather, it's because democratic structures need change and the simplest way to foment change is defeating incumbency.

That said, had Rothman fought Garrett in the 5th I would support him because his values are both closest to mine and because Garrett is the closest thing NJ has to a Bush-era extremist. His role behind Paul Ryan in the House Budget Cmte is only the most recent example.

It's just as well. Rothman is an uninspiring choice for moderates and Democrats in the 5th district. Bergen, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren counties have enough professionals to run against Scott Garrett, but they're not unified either by party or county.

May. 16 2012 12:18 PM
Bella August

I heard the coverage of the contest between Pascrell and Rothman. One other consequence of the re-districting is that a small part of Montclair, where I live, and which is nearly all Democratic, was carved out of Pascrell's old district and put into a majority Republican district based in Morristown. Other towns, another county (Essex vs, Morris), miles away, different issues. Rep. Frelinghuysen is the incumbent.

May. 15 2012 10:56 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Oh the caller's comment about not thinking much of the candidate (as a decent person, I understood) but she's voting for him because he votes 100% for her issue.

Again, it is the same lack of wiggle room afforded candidates by some of the Democratic Party's constituencies as for the Republicans with the Tea Party folks.

Neither party has a monopoly either on the truth or the potential to be cynical and corrupt.

May. 15 2012 10:50 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Another way to view this "dilemma" is to understand how little tolerance thee is in the Democratic party for even slightly "unorthodox" (i.e., non-politically correct) positions.

It's not limited only to the Republicans within the Tea Party context...

May. 15 2012 10:44 AM
Michelle from New York


May. 15 2012 10:42 AM
Ciro in Garfield from Garfield, NJ

This is a fight for county home rule. Rothman, and the Bergen County Dems don't want to lose influence to the Passaic Dems.

Rothman should have run against Garrett, but he lost his nerve. He didn't want to fight in Upper Passaic, Warren, and Sussex Counties. This guy is a wuss.

Pascrell, on the other hand, is so Paterson-centric, like the current District 35 Reps, that he will probably do little to benefit Bergen County.

What a mess!

May. 15 2012 10:41 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Brian, let me get your premise? Two long term incumbent, career politicians are running against each other and progressives should be sad?

May. 15 2012 10:36 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian....."a sad day for (so-called) progressives in New Jersey."

LOL.......yes, forced to choose between dumb and dumber.

May. 15 2012 10:35 AM

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