NJ-05: Republican Pallotta exploring 2020 challenge to Gottheimer

MAHWAH, NJ – Frank Pallotta is taking a look at next year’s 5th District congressional race.

Late Tuesday night, the former Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley banking executive announced the formation of an exploratory committee.


“I have decided to seriously consider the possibility of seeking the Republican party’s nomination to run in 2020 against former Clinton speech writer, Josh Gottheimer,” said the reportedly well-heeled Pallotta in a statement. “In the coming months, I plan to travel the district to meet with residents, town officials and party leaders to discuss the current challenges facing our district, state and country.”

Pallotta’s exploratory committee includes Kelly Langschultz, a past candidate for the LD38 State Senate seat and a fairly popular figure in Bergen GOP politics.

For now, the likely federal candidate’s messaging appears to be pro-Trump and anti-Trenton.

“The window of opportunity to help lift our district and state from the burden of high taxes and out of control spending, is fast closing,” added Pallotta. “The mass exodus of jobs, businesses and once-loyal residents from our state and district must end. We need to begin to recognize that the far reaching and lasting benefits of spending cuts, lower taxes and the continuation of President Trump’s economic plan, will far outweigh the specter of a party whose increasingly socialist policies threaten our livelihood and prosperity.”

President Trump carried NJ-05 in 2016, but the district has been represented by Democrat Josh Gottheimer, a prolific fundraiser, since January 2017 after he defeated Republican incumbent Scott Garrett. NRCC strategists want it back; it’s on their official 2020 target list. Supporters believer Pallotta’s financial connections could help even the odds.

The only other NJ-05 GOP’er to take a formal step thus far is John McCann, the attorney and former Cresskill councilman who ran unsuccessfully as the Republican nominee in 2018. McCann skipped the exploratory phase and announced his candidacy outright.