Gottheimer (D) Gets Progressive Primary Challenger

'I think he’s in the pocket of corporations, quite frankly'

• July 29, 2019 12:25 pm


Moderate congressman Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.) will be facing a primary challenge from progressive Glen Rock councilwoman Arati Kreibich.

Kreibich announced her candidacy in a video Monday morning. "What we have is a representative in Congress who is not representing us, who is not representing the people," Kreibich told Politico, "I think what he is representing are corporate donations that he gets. I think he's in the pocket of corporations, quite frankly."

Kreibich said she would join the Congressional Progressive Caucus if invited to do so. Gottheimer is the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of moderate lawmakers in the House. Gottheimer helped whipped Democrats in favor of the Senate version of the border security bill in June, forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi to abandon the House version of the bill in a huge loss for House progressives. Kreibich echoed criticism of the bill by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), adding that she was "beyond disgusted" by Gottheimer's role at the time.

Kreibich is backed by Anna Wong, who co-leads Indivisible NJ5th District. Kreibich supports Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, and said she "absolutely, 100 percent" supports impeaching President Donald Trump. Democratic State Committee chairman John Currie expressed his support for Gottheimer in a statement, saying, "It is quite possible that maintaining Democratic control of the house in 2020 will come down to what happens in New Jersey. The Fifth District could be the difference between having Democratic or Republican Speaker. We need the strongest possible candidate who can win a swing district that Trump won and that is Congressman Josh Gottheimer."

Gottheimer flipped his district in 2016, winning his seat by under five percent of the vote while Trump won the district by one percent.

Correction 2:29 pm: The article earlier indicated that Kreibich was backed by Indivisible NJ5th District. The group has not yet endorsed a candidate.