Supporters of Jewish Democratic congressional contender Josh Gottheimer believe his rival belongs in the Deep South.
A campaign ad released Friday by the House Majority PAC, takes aim at Republican incumbent Scott Garrett known for his ultra-conservative views which, the ad claims, do not fit his New Jersey constituency.
“His views are perfect for a rural Alabama conservative,” the 30-second spot states, quoting a Bloomberg editorial. “So why is Scott Garrett representing New Jersey?”
Garrett, who is in a close race against Gottheimer, has rebuked his party for supporting gay candidates and has voted to allow flying the Confederate flag in military cemeteries.
Gottheimer, a lawyer and former speechwriter for Bill Clinton, thinks he can capitalize on Garrett’s positions in a state known for moderate Republicans. So far, his campaign has done better that expected in polling and in fundraising.
During his campaign, Gottheimer reached out to Jewish voters in his district, which includes parts of Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties, and has highlighted his support for Israel and his activism in AIPAC and in NORPAC, a local pro-Israel group.
Republican sources told Politico they doubt Gottheimer’s move to present his rival as too conservative for New Jersey will work, arguing that the district, which has elected Garret six times, remains reliably Republican.
Nathan Guttman staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Contact Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @nathanguttman