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Pascrell wins primary
June 6th, 2012

Eight-term Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. triumphed over his former ally, Rep. Steve Rothman, to win the Democratic nod in the bitter and expensive 9th District race. The two incumbents faced off against each other when the new congressional district map reduced the New Jersey delegation by one congressman. The new boundaries put Rothman and Republican Rep. Scott Garrett in the same district. But instead of competing against Garrett in a conservative leaning district, Rothman moved back to Englewood, where he had been mayor, and tried to unseat Pascrell.

Rothman gained votes in the Bergen and Hudson towns within the district but the tallies could not overcome the plurality Pascrell, a native of Paterson, racked up his home base, Passaic County.  He also got a boost from former President Bill Clinton, who endorsed him at fund-raiser. President Obama gave tacit support to Rothman, posing with the incumbent in a White House photo that was used during the campaign. Less than 24 hours after Pascrell’s victory, however, Obama was on the phone congratulating him.

Pascrell is a shoe-in to win the November general election since Democrats greatly outnumber Republicans in the 9th District. The incumbent said he is committed to getting Obama re-elected.

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