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Democratic, Republican candidates for Congress


NEW JERSEY (PIX11) — New Jersey residents will head to the polls in less than a week to vote in the primaries for their choice of congressional candidates. 

New Jersey residents will elect 12 candidates during the general election to represent the state in the House of Representatives. New Jersey is currently represented by 10 Democrats and two Republicans. The primary is scheduled for June 7. PIX11 broke down races across north and central New Jersey:

Congressional District 5:

The region was red for years. After the 2010 midterm election, the district was redrawn to include more Democratic-leaning sections of Bergen County. It also covers parts of Warren, Sussex and Passaic counties. Most of the voters in the district live in the more densely populated parts of Bergen County.

Democratic Primary: 

Josh Gottheimer (Incumbent, no race) –  When Gottheimer was first elected, he beat Rep. Scott Garrett, a seven-term Republican. Rep. Gottheimer, who worked as head of corporate strategy at Microsoft before he was elected, is known for his bipartisanship. He co-chaired the Problem Solvers Caucus, where he worked with 29 Republicans and 29 Democrats on issues like taxes, cutting health care premiums and infrastructure, according to his campaign website. The politician is also a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, where he successfully removed Twitter accounts linked to foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, said his campaign website.

Republican Primary: 

Nick De Gregorio In the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Gregorio joined the Marines and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan across four deployments, according to his campaign website. He’s focused on taxes and helping businesses in New Jersey. Gregorio, a father of two, also launched his campaign because he feels schools used to be a place for free-thinking but are, “devolving into testing grounds for radical political ideology.” The candidate feels the leaders in Washington are unaware of the problems they have caused for ordinary people. “This is not what I fought for,” he said on his campaign website.  

Frank Pallotta – Pallotta, a Queens native, is a former investment banker who got into politics after the 2008 financial crisis, according to his campaign website. He lost to Gottheimer in the 2020 general election.

He co-founded a small New Jersey business dedicated to helping homeowners and veterans during the 2008 financial crisis. His company received an award from Time Magazine for its success.

Sab Skenderi – Skenderi describes himself as a “constitutionalist” and is not tied to special interest groups or lobbyists, he said on his campaign website. He said he is running for office because he’s focused on fighting for civil liberties and feels whistleblowers who expose corruption should be exonerated and pardoned. In 2012, Skenderi ran as a delegate for Ron Paul. He has also marched in protests for civil liberties and to end unjust wars, according to his site.

Congressional District 6:

The district includes the northern and eastern portions of Middlesex County. It also includes the coastal parts of Monmouth County.

Democratic Primary:

Frank Pallone Jr. (Incumbent, no race) – Pallone serves as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Pallone was first elected to Congress in 1988, but because of redistricting, he was first elected to the Sixth District seat in November of 1992.

Republican Primary: 

Susan Kiley Kiley has served as Monmouth County deputy commissioner and as mayor of Hazlet. She launched her campaign because she’s scared of what she described as the “radical direction” Rep. Pallone, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, NJ. Gov. Phil Murphy and President Joe Biden — all Democrats — have taken the country.

Rik Mehta Mehta, a biotech entrepreneur, previously ran for Senate in 2020. At the time, he was endorsed by former Gov. Chris Christie. 

Tom Toomey Toomey, a businessman, has emphasized his blue-collar values. He previously worked as a senior staffer for the Republican National Committee.

Congressional District 7:

The state’s 7th Congressional District, which includes all of Hunterdon County and parts of Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren counties, traditionally sends a Republican to Congress, but residents elected a Democrat in 2018 and re-elected him in 2020. 

Democratic Primary:

Tom Malinowski (Incumbent) – Malinowski, a former human rights lobbyist and Obama State Department appointee, was born in Poland and fled to the United States with his mother as a child. He previously served as a senior director on former President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council and as chief advocate for the Human Rights Watch.

Roger Bacon Bacon has run for public office several times over the past 30 years. A Navy veteran and a retired production mechanic, Bacon says he is running for Congress “to address election security, border security, and our unsustainable fiscal and immigration policies, for starters.” Bacon sought to challenge New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in 2021.

Republican Primary: 

Kevin Dorlon Dorlon is a father and longtime business owner. A political newcomer, Dorlon describes himself as a “true Republican” who believes in stopping government overreach and mandates. According to Dorlon, his beliefs on many issues align with other Republicans such as Trey Gowdy, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan and Jason Chaffetz.

John P. Flora Flora is the mayor of Fredon Township. He previously served on Fredon’s school board for 10 years. In an interview with Patch, Flora said he is running for Congress because “middle-class people like me and my neighbors are not being represented in Congress.”

John Isemann Isemann’s career experience includes work in the technology, media, entertainment, finance and nonprofit sectors across the U.S. and abroad. At 27 years old, this is Isemann’s first time running for office. He wants to inspire conservative principles among younger generations of Americans.

Thomas Kean Jr.Kean Jr. ran against Malinowski in the 2020 election. He served as state senator and minority leader. He’s also the son of former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean.

Erik PetersonPeterson is a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, representing District 23. He has served in the State Assembly since 2009. Peterson’s consistent conservative voting record is a key part of his campaign. “Vote the record, not the rhetoric,” his campaign slogan says.

Philip RizzoRizzo is a former gubernatorial candidate who finished runner-up in the Republican primary in 2021. Rizzo’s career experience includes working in real estate, construction and as a pastor. His priorities include restoring high academic standards, freeing businesses from government interference and “taking back our freedoms.”

Sterling Schwab Schwab is a father and military veteran with more than 35 years of service in the Navy. Schwab promises to fight for the Constitutional rights of New Jerseyans if elected to Congress. He supports medical freedom, the right to bear arms and is an opponent of abortion.

Congressional District 8:

The 8th Congressional District, which includes parts of Essex, Hudson, Bergen and Union counties, has some of the biggest cities in the state. It’s home to Jersey City, Newark and Union City. The district has overwhelmingly voted for Democrats in previous years. The district’s current representative, Democrat Albio Sires, has said he would not seek re-election.

Democratic Primary:

Robert Menendez Jr. Menendez works as an attorney and was confirmed to serve on the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The son of Sen. Bob Menendez, he has been the popular choice to replace Sires and represent the district. His platform highlights voting rights.

David Ocampo Grajales Ocampo Grajales works as director at a startup that helps hospitals and universities with worker safety and environmental compliance. He’s a first-generation American. Among the key issues in his campaign are accessibility to health care and education, as well as immigration and the passing of the Green New Deal.

Ane Roseborough-Eberhard Roseborough-Eberhard works as a teacher and founded a boutique record label. She is also the marketing chair of New Jersey’s Amistad Commission. Her platform advocates for an inclusive curriculum in schools, free post-high school education and abortion rights, among others.

Republican Primary: 

Marcos Arroyo Arroyo is a housing inspector. His platform is centered on fighting inflation.

Ana Rivera Rivera is a plumber’s apprentice and a mother of two. 

Congressional District 9:

The 9th Congressional District includes a large swath of Bergen County along with parts of Passaic County. It also includes a portion of Hudson County. The district has historically voted for Democrats.

Democratic Primary:

Bill Pascrell (Incumbent, no race) – Incumbent Pascrell first took on his post in 2013. His platform gives importance to environmental protection, as well as fire safety and accessibility to health care. Pascrell is the co-chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus and the Italian-American Congressional Delegation. He currently serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means as the Subcommittee on Oversight chair.

Republican Primary: 

Billy Prempeh (No race) – Prempeh is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He is a first-generation American born to Ghanaian immigrants. Among the key issues in his platform are “merit-based” immigration reform, anti-abortion and support for veterans experiencing homelessness.

Congressional District 10:

The 10th Congressional District covers portions of Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. 

Democratic Primary:

Donald Payne Jr. (Incumbent) – Incumbent Donald Payne Jr. was first elected in 2012 to replace his father, who was the first Black congressional member from New Jersey. Payne won a special election to serve in the final months of the 112th U.S. Congress before going on to win an appointment to the 113th Congress with 88% of the vote.

Payne currently serves on two House committees: The Committee on Homeland Security and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Akil KhalfaniSociologist Akil Khalfani is trying to “broaden the impact” of his social work by running for Congress. His social efforts include work with the Essex-Newark Coalition to End Homelessness and People’s Organization for Progress.

Khalfani, who has a doctorate in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, currently holds three positions at Essex County College in Newark. There, he acts as director for the Center for Global Education and Experiences, director of the Africana Institute and is an associate professor of sociology. He’s also an author.

Imani OakleyNew Jersey-born Imani Oakley graduated from Howard University in 2012 and New York University in 2014 before receiving her J.D. from Howard in 2017. 

After passing the New Jersey Bar, Oakley worked as a Constituent Advocate for the U.S. Senate, where she tackled issues including New Jersey’s housing crisis. She’s deeply rooted in state politics, having also worked with the New Jersey Legislature, New Jersey Young Democrats and the Essex County Young Democrats.

Republican Primary: 

David PinckneyDavid Pinckney is running for federal office for the second time. He first ran against Donald Payne Jr. in 2016, winning 12% of the vote.

He also ran for the New Jersey General Assembly two times, in 2011 and 2015.

Garth StewartThe Army veteran threw his hat in the ring against Pinckney. This is his first time running for public office.

After leaving the Army, he received both his bachelor’s (history) and master’s (education) degrees from Columbia University. In an interview with patch.com, the self-described “political outsider” said he decided to run for office after witnessing “hysteria” over COVID-19.

Congressional District 11:

The district includes portions of Essex, Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties.

Democratic Primary:

Mikie Sherrill (Incumbent, no race) – Sherrill had not held or sought office before she was first elected in 2018. At the time, the seat in the House of Representatives was up for grabs after 12-term Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen retired. The district had been a GOP stronghold and residents voted for Donald Trump in 2016.

Sherrill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor, previously worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. She sits on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and the House Education and Labor Committee.

Republican Primary: 

Toby AndersonAnderson, a veteran, said he’s running to shut down leftist policies and cancel culture, according to his campaign website. He also wants to restore parental rights and control inflation. Anderson has worked as a small business owner in the home health care field.

Paul DeGroot DeGroot has a long career as a prosecutor. He worked for the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office for more than two decades. He said he feels “America is heading in the wrong direction.” DeGroot has pledged to make communities safer, protect taxpayers and prevent government abuse of power.

Alexander HalterHalter, who has a background working in news, is a self-described Trump Republican. He wants to focus on the economy, the border, children and election issues, he told Patch.

Ruth McAndrewMcAndrew, a hospice triage nurse, was inspired to run during the pandemic. Her experience with health care workers and hospice patients showed her what they need, she wrote on her campaign site. She also wants to keep critical race theory, social and sexual health instruction out of classrooms. McAndrew is a believer in term limits and said she’ll go back to nursing and the farm she runs with her husband once she’s accomplished what she feels needs to be done.

Tayfun SelenSelen has worked as an elected official in several local positions. He currently serves as Morris County commissioner and as senior vice president of administration for Lincoln Educational Services. He also worked as a mayor and on a zoning board. As mayor, he cut municipal property taxes and reduced spending. Selen has also worked for a real estate development company.



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