Well Save Jerseyan’s, I can’t say that I blame the Congressman. After his party threw him under the bus when it was well established by pretty much everyone on the redistricting commission that other districts were in worse shape numbers wise, Steve Rothman is striking back.
Last week Rothman was pitted against New Jersey’s arguably most conservative congressman when the lines between the 5th and 9th districts changed as New Jersey lost a congressional seat. Rothman was set to face off against Scott Garrett in a district that not only favored Garrett on paper, but also favored him geographically. Rothman’s old 9th district was rather small as far as land area goes. Competing in the 5th, which now spans the entire norther border of the state and dips down into the more conservative northwest, would have been a difficult adjustment to make.
So, instead of facing what looked like a certain loss, Rothman is taking the other route. Because redistricting occurred this year, and Rothman’s hometown was moved from his former district, Rothman can actually run in any district he so chooses, so long as he formally states his intent to move to that district if elected. So, 8th District of New Jersey, prepare to meet Steve Rothman, again. That’s right, Rothman actually has roots there, which I am sure played into his decision. The congressman was previously an elected official in Englewood.
The ultimate effect of this decision is that Rothman and Pascrell, the current occupant in NJ-8 will be facing off in the June primary contest. This is good for a number of reasons:
- The Democrats are going to be spending money bashing each other in a district that is solidly blue.
- It means that the New Jersey primary actually means something again, considering it is so late in the process that the GOP will likely have a Presidential nominee already.
- It gives me something to write about come June
- It means that barring any major surprises, the make up of our congressional delegation will be 6 – 6 rather than 7 – 5 with a Democrat advantage.
Matt Friedman of NJ.com is reporting that the official announcement will be coming later this week. He is also reporting that Passaic County Democrats are none to pleased with this decision. Who could blame them? Any Democrat who says they wanted to see this happen is most likely lying. These internal struggles tend to get ugly, and with two well established representatives, you can be that support will be fervent on both sides. Not Ron Paul follower intensity, but still intense for sure. Both men also have large campaign war chests of over $1 million, and in the New York media market, they are going to need it. There can only be one man standing at the end of this battle, and no matter what happens, there will be at least one less Democrat in the House of Representatives.