FAIR LAWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Congressional redistricting is shaking up the political scene in New Jersey.
The Garden State’s game of musical chairs had appeared to set up a showdown between incumbents Democrat Steve Rothman and Republican Scott Garrett.
Now, Rothman is spreading the word that he wants to challenge fellow Democrat Bill Pascrell next June after finding himself thrown into the Republican-leaning 5th District last week.
Rather than face an uphill re-election battle, Rothman may challenge Pascrell in the 9th District primary. The newly-drawn district contains many of the Bergen County neighborhoods Rothman already represents.
No official announcement has been made.
Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie supports Pascrell and tells 1010 WINS he has an advantage over Rothman.
“Pascrell is a tough-as-nails campaigner,” Currie said. “Although the two districts are about equal, he’s created — over the last 30 years — many, many friends in Bergen County and he’s so well-known in Passaic County.”
He believes Rothman should not pass up an opportunity to unseat a Republican.
“I believe that Congressman Rothman can beat Scott Garrett and this is about control and that will enable us to have an extra seat in Congress rather than challenging another strong Democrat,” Currie said.
Bergan County’s Democratic Chairmain Lou Stellator said he’ll support whatever Rothman wants to do.