NEW JERSEY — Democrat Josh Gottheimer ousted seven term U.S. Representative Scott Garrett in Tuesday’s election.
Gottheimer, a former Clinton speechwriter and executive at Microsoft, raked in 51 percent of the vote in a district which has been represented by a Republican in the House for most of the last century. Rep. Garrett had won his previous two campaigns with about 55 percent of the vote.
The district, which covers parts of Warren, Sussex and Passaic counties, was redrawn after the 2010 midterm election to include more Democratic-leaning neighborhoods in Bergen County.
Gottheimer’s win gives the Democratic slate of New Jersey representatives in the House a 7-5 majority.
The 41-year-old representative elect started his career in politics as a teenage page for then-Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). From there, he interned for Senator Lautenberg, House Speaker Tom Foley (D-Wash.), C-SPAN and the Secretary of the Senate – all before graduating from college. After graduating, he worked as a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, earned a law degree and worked at the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
He also worked on the presidential campaigns of General Wesley Clark and John Kerry. Gottheimer bills himself as a Bill Clinton Democrat – a socially liberal fiscal conservative.
Rep. Garrett has not yet conceded.