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Josh Gottheimer
Josh Gottheimer Photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byScott Garrett
Personal details
Born (1975-03-08) March 8, 1975 (age 48)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Marla Tusk
(m. 2006)
Residence(s)Wyckoff, New Jersey, U.S.
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA)
Pembroke College, Oxford
Harvard University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Joshua S. Gottheimer (/ˈɡɒthmər/ GOT-hy-mər; born March 8, 1975) is an American attorney, writer, and public policy adviser who has served as the U.S. representative for New Jersey's 5th congressional district since 2017. The district stretches along the northern border of the state from New York City's densely populated metropolitan suburbs in Bergen County northwest through exurban and rural territory in northern Passaic and Sussex Counties.

A member of the Democratic Party, Gottheimer was a speechwriter for Bill Clinton and served as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Wesley Clark, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. He has also worked for Burson Cohn & Wolfe, the Federal Communications Commission, Ford Motor Company, and Microsoft.

Early life and education

Gottheimer in 2012
Gottheimer in 2012

Gottheimer was born in Livingston, New Jersey, on March 8, 1975.[1] At the age of 16, Gottheimer served as a U.S. Senate page for Frank Lautenberg, a senator from New Jersey. Through high school and college, Gottheimer held internships with C-SPAN, the U.S. Senate secretary, and Tom Foley, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.[2]

Gottheimer graduated from West Essex High School, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard Law School. He was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. While in college, he served on the "rapid response team" for Bill Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign. After Clinton's reelection, Gottheimer attended Pembroke College, Oxford on a Thouron Award, studying toward a DPhil in modern history.

Early career

Gottheimer joined the Clinton administration as a speechwriter in 1998, at age 23,[2] working in the administration until its end in 2001. While attending law school, he worked as an adviser for Wesley Clark's 2004 presidential campaign, John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, and Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.[3] After the 2004 election, Gottheimer worked for the Ford Motor Company, then became an executive vice president at Burson Cohn & Wolfe.[2] From 2010 to 2012, he worked for the Federal Communications Commission,[4] where he led an initiative related to broadband internet.[5] He subsequently became a strategist at Microsoft.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives



See also: 2016 United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey § District 5

In the 2016 elections, Gottheimer ran for the House of Representatives in New Jersey's 5th congressional district, a seat held by Republican Scott Garrett. Cory Booker joined him when he officially announced his candidacy.[7]

Gottheimer attracted more attention than previous challengers to Garrett due to his fundraising ability[8] and ties to the Clintons; he was eventually nicknamed the "Human Fundraising Machine".[9] The New York Times ran a prominent article about his Clinton ties, describing him as a protégé of the Clintons and noting that Bill and Chelsea Clinton had appeared at a recent Manhattan fundraiser for Gottheimer, at which Chelsea introduced him as "something of a family member".[3] Gottheimer's campaign's 2015 financial filings, which reported raising around $1 million through the end of September, showed that "about one dollar in six came directly from fellow alumni of the Clinton White House and campaigns...or from major donors and employees of consulting firms tied closely to the Clintons."[3] Among those who donated were three former Clinton press secretaries and two former Clinton chiefs of staff.[3]

The 5th had historically been one of New Jersey's more Republican districts, but redistricting after the 2010 census made it slightly more Democratic by pushing it further into Bergen County. During the campaign, Garrett criticized Gottheimer "for taking a donation from Ibrahim Al-Rashid, the son of a Saudi multimillionaire who pleaded guilty in 2014 to simple assault of his estranged wife."[10] Gottheimer and national Democrats attacked Garrett for his social conservatism, particularly comments he made about openly gay Republican candidates, arguing that these views showed Garrett was too conservative for the district.[11]

Gottheimer defeated Garrett,[12] primarily on the strength of a strong showing in the district's share of Bergen County, home to over three-fourths of the district's voters. He won Bergen by over 33,800 votes, more than double his overall margin of almost 14,900 votes.[13] It was the most expensive House race in New Jersey history.[14] He was sworn in on January 3, 2017–[15] the first Democrat to represent the district since 1981, when it was numbered the 7th District (it has been the 5th since 1983).


See also: 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey § District 5

Gottheimer was reelected in 2018, defeating Republican nominee John McCann with 56% of the vote. While he lost three of the district's four counties, Gottheimer won his second term on the strength of carrying the district's share of Bergen County by over 51,000 votes, more than his overall margin of 41,300 votes.[16]


See also: 2020 United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey § District 5

After defeating a more progressive Democrat, Glen Rock council member Arati Kreibich, in the primary, Gottheimer won his third term in 2020, defeating Republican nominee Frank Pallotta with 53% of the vote. Representative Ayanna Presley of Massachusetts endorsed Kreibich. Nancy Pelosi and Hakeem Jeffries endorsed Josh during the primary.[17] As in his previous campaigns, he lost three of the district's four counties, but swamped Pallotta in the district's share of Bergen County, this time by 52,600 votes, more than his overall margin of 32,800 votes.[18] He was also helped by Joe Biden carrying the district with 52% of the vote.[19]


See also: 2022 United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey § District 5

Redistricting made the 5th somewhat safer for Gottheimer. The district was pushed further into Bergen County, as far as Fort Lee. At the same time, it lost all of its share of heavily Republican Warren County and most of its share of equally Republican Sussex County; these areas had been Garrett's base for most of Garrett's seven-term tenure. The new 5th was six points more Democratic than its predecessor; Biden would have won the new district with 58 percent of the vote.[20]

In May 2022, Gottheimer became involved in the Republican primary contest that would decide his eventual general election opponent.[21] He sent mail to Republican voters that compared his 2020 opponent, Pallotta, to former Republican president Donald Trump.[22]

Pallotta won the primary, defeating front-runner, and US Marine Corps combat veteran, Nick De Gregorio by 1,475 votes.[23] This set up a general election that Gottheimer was heavily favored to win, and did win in November with 54.7% of the vote.[24][25][26]


In the first session of the 115th United States Congress, Gottheimer was ranked the eighth most bipartisan member of the House by the Bipartisan Index, a metric published by The Lugar Center and Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy.[27][28] In January 2018, Gottheimer was one of six House Democrats who voted with Republicans for a short-term spending bill in an attempt to stave off a federal government shutdown.[29]

He is the Democratic co-chair of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.[30]

Gottheimer voted to impeach Trump a second time following the January 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol.[31]

Gottheimer emerged as a leader of the "Unbreakable Nine", who in August 2021 pushed to decouple the bipartisan infrastructure bill from the Build Back Better Act.[32] The two bills were voted on separately, and only the bipartisan infrastructure bill became law (because conservative senators refused to support BBB).[33]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Some consider Gottheimer a conservative Democrat,[38] with GovTrack rating him the most conservative Democrat in the House as of February 2021, as well as more conservative than 32 House Republicans.[39] During Donald Trump's presidency, Gottheimer voted in line with Trump more often than any other Democrat in Congress.[40][41] As of November 2021, he had voted in line with Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time.[42]

Gottheimer has pointed to his work with the Problem Solvers Caucus as proof that he is not "ideologically rigid". He has also said that members of Congress "are more bipartisan than people think".[43]


On May 22, 2023, Gottheimer announced his support for reducing food waste in the country. He wrote to the United States Department of Agriculture to revise its guidelines for consumers and sellers to dispose of their products with expiration dates. The Representative says the system of determining a product's expiration date needs to be revised so businesses do not throw a product away too soon. Food pantries can benefit from this federal revision and customers can save money when supplies continue to last.[44]


On April 15, 2017, Gottheimer announced that he would be introducing the "Anti-Moocher Bill", under which states receiving more federal dollars than they contribute to the national treasury would pay their "fair share", asking: "Why should Alabama get our federal tax dollars and get a free ride, while we're left holding the bag with higher property taxes? It just doesn't make sense."[45]

Gottheimer is a proponent of restoring the full State And Local Tax (SALT) deduction.[46][47]

Health care

In 2017, Gottheimer said "we need to fix the Affordable Care Act. There's plenty wrong with it, whether it's the medical device tax or the Cadillac tax." He also felt that the American Health Care Act of 2017 did not reflect an effort "to reach across the aisle".[43]


Gottheimer speaks at a Maryland infrastructure press conference, April 2021
Gottheimer speaks at a Maryland infrastructure press conference, April 2021

Gottheimer supports New Jersey infrastructure projects, including the Lackawanna Cut-Off and the Gateway Tunnel.[48][49]

In August 2021, Gottheimer led a group of centrist Democrats who threatened to derail the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package meant to tackle infrastructure.[50][51][52]

Gottheimer staunchly opposed congestion pricing in New York City.[53][54]


Gottheimer said that he thought President Donald Trump acted appropriately in striking Syria in response to the 2018 use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. "There's room the president has to deal with a crisis, and I believed, if you looked at the heinous crimes and atrocities committed, poisoning your own children, that demanded a response, and I'm glad he responded."[43]

Donald Trump

In 2017, Gottheimer called for an independent commission to probe alleged ties between Donald Trump and Russia.[43]

Of the possibility of impeaching Trump over the Ukraine scandal, in September 2019 Gottheimer said, "We need to make sure this is fact-driven and evidence-based. You can't prejudge something that is so solemn and obviously could have a big historical impact on our country, and you need to keep the country together."[55] Gottheimer voted to impeach Trump during both his first impeachment[56] and his second impeachment.[57]

Gottheimer was one of eight Democrats to vote against a resolution that would curtail Trump's war powers following the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in January 2020.[58]


In 2019, Gottheimer stated his opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana. The statement came after he voted for a bill that would end the federal penalization of banks that serve the cannabis industry.[59]

Congressional stock trading

Gottheimer supports Representative Abigail Spanberger's Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act, which has 50 co-sponsors.[60]


Gottheimer and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick introduced House legislation to support Senator Joe Manchin's initiative to close American ports to Russian oil, natural gas, and coal products.[61]

Electoral history

2016 Democratic primary results[62]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joshua S. Gottheimer 43,250 100.0
Total votes 43,250 100.0
New Jersey's 5th congressional district, 2016[63]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Gottheimer 172,587 51.1
Republican Scott Garrett (incumbent) 157,690 46.7
Libertarian Claudio Belusic 7,424 2.2
Total votes 337,701 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
2018 Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Gottheimer (incumbent) 27,486 100
Total votes 27,486 100
New Jersey's 5th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Gottheimer (incumbent) 169,546 56.2
Republican John J. McCann 128,255 42.5
Libertarian James Tosone 2,115 0.7
Independent Wendy Goetz 1,907 0.6
Total votes 301,823 100.0
Democratic hold
2020 Democratic primary results[64]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Gottheimer (incumbent) 52,406 66.5
Democratic Arati Kreibich 26,418 33.5
New Jersey's 5th congressional district, 2020[65]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Gottheimer (incumbent) 225,175 53.2
Republican Frank Pallotta 193,333 45.6
Independent Louis Vellucci 5,128 1.2
2022 Democratic primary results[66]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Gottheimer (incumbent) 31,142 100.0
Total votes 31,142 100.0
New Jersey's 5th congressional district election, 2022[24]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Josh Gottheimer (incumbent) 145,559 54.7
Republican Frank Pallotta 117,873 44.3
Libertarian Jeremy Marcus 1,193 0.5
Independent Trevor Ferrigno 700 0.3
Independent Louis Vellucci 618 0.2
Total votes 265,943 100.0
Democratic hold


He is the editor of Ripples of Hope (2003), a collection of American civil-rights speeches. The text of one of the speeches included in the book, which was delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma on January 25, 1965, was previously unpublished. Gottheimer acquired the text from an Alabama police consultant who had transcribed it from FBI surveillance tapes.[67]

He is also co-author, with Mary Frances Berry, of Power of Words (2011), a book about Barack Obama's speeches.[68]

Personal life

Gottheimer is a native of North Caldwell, and he currently resides in Wyckoff.[69] He is Jewish and a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.[2] He married Marla Tusk in 2006.[70] Together, they have two children.[2]


See also


  1. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). Roll Call. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Palmer, Joanne (February 14, 2014). "'And then the phone rang…'; Wyckoff man's adventures in politics and public service". The Times of Israel. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Burns, Alexander (December 25, 2015). "Protégé of Clintons Targets U.S. Congressional Seat". The New York Times. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  4. ^ "Josh Gottheimer, Senior Counselor to the Chairman, to step down; Jordan Usdan named Acting Director of Public-Private Initiatives" (PDF) (Press release). Federal Communications Commission. June 20, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "FCC's Gottheimer to Lead New Broadband Public/Private Initiative". RadioResource Media Group. March 7, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  6. ^ Wingfield, Nick; Cain Miller, Claire (December 16, 2012). "Former Washington political brawler now battles for Microsoft". Business Standard India. Business Standard. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  7. ^ Pizarro, Max (February 8, 2016). "Garrett Challenger Gottheimer Gets out of the Gate in CD5". Observer. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg backed this N.J. candidate - The Auditor". November 13, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  9. ^ Jackson, Herb (March 13, 2016). "Jackson: A 'new Democrat' alternative in 5th Congressional District". The Record. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
  10. ^ Railey, Kimberly. "Gottheimer Takes Heat From Garrett Over Campaign Donation". The National Journal. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Anti-Gay Remarks Lost A Congressman Wall Street, And Maybe His House Seat".
  12. ^ "Josh Gottheimer Defeats Scott Garrett in New Jersey Congressional Race". The New York Times. November 9, 2016. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  13. ^ "Full 2016 election results: New Jersey House 05".
  14. ^ Jackson, Herb. "Garrett-Gottheimer: NJ's most expensive House race". Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "Gottheimer takes seat as N.J.'s newest House member". January 4, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  16. ^ "New Jersey - Full House results".
  17. ^ "Pelosi endorses Gottheimer". June 5, 2020.
  18. ^ 2020 election results from CNN
  19. ^ Presidential results by congressional district from Daily Kos
  20. ^ Washington, Inside Elections 609 H. St NE 4th Floor; Developers, DC 20002 Phone:546-2822 Email · Subscriptions API for. "New Jersey Redistricting: Malinowski Draws the Short Straw". Retrieved November 11, 2022.
  21. ^ "Gottheimer helping Pallotta capture GOP nomination to run against him: Democratic congressman appears to prefer rematch with 2020 opponent than race against De Gregorio". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  22. ^ "Why Josh Gottheimer is getting involved in other side's primary with these campaign flyers". Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  23. ^ "New Jersey Primary Election Results". New York Times. June 7, 2022. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  24. ^ a b "2022 Official General Election Results: U.S. House of Representatives" (PDF). New Jersey Department of State - Division of Elections. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  25. ^ "2022 House Race Ratings". Cook Political Report. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  26. ^ "Sabato's Crystal Ball". UVA Center for Politics. Retrieved October 1, 2022.
  27. ^ "The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: The Lugar Center. April 24, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  28. ^ "Blue Dog Coalition Members Ranked Most Bipartisan House Democrats in 2017". Washington, D.C.: Blue Dog Coalition. April 25, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  29. ^ Jackson, Herb; Alvarado, Monsy (January 19, 2019). "As shutdown looms, Gottheimer joins Republicans on spending bill most Democrats opposed". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  30. ^ a b Marcos, Cristina (February 3, 2017). "Lawmakers set up bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus for new Congress". The Hill. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  31. ^ "2nd Trump Impeachment: How Rep. Josh Gottheimer Voted". January 13, 2021. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  32. ^ Sprunt, Barbara. "9 Moderate Democrats Threaten To Derail Pelosi's Infrastructure And Budget Plan". Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  33. ^ Cadelago, Christopher. "With Biden's signature legislation stalled, Democrats stare into political void". Retrieved December 17, 2022.
  34. ^ "U.S.House Committee on Financial Services - Membership". United States House of Representatives - Committee on Financial Services. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  35. ^ "Members". Blue dog coalition. Archived from the original on June 30, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2017.
  36. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  37. ^ "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  38. ^ "The Most Conservative Democrat In Congress Just Survived A Progressive Primary Challenge". Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  39. ^ "Josh Gottheimer, Representative for New Jersey's 5th District". Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  40. ^ "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. January 30, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  41. ^ Salant, Jonathan D. (March 3, 2019). "He voted with Trump more than any Democrat in the nation. She voted against him more than almost anyone. They're both from New Jersey". nj. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  42. ^ Bycoffe, Anna Wiederkehr and Aaron (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  43. ^ a b c d Danzis, David. "Gottheimer discusses issues from his first 100 days in Congress". New Jersey Herald. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  44. ^ "Gottheimer announces "Fixing Food Labeling Plan" to address misleading and unscientific food date labels". May 22, 2023.
  45. ^ Danzis, David (April 19, 2017). "Gottheimer talks economic growth, 'Anti-Moocher Bill'". New Jersey Herald. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  46. ^ Edelman, Adam (April 12, 2021). "Trump-era tax change emerges as wedge issue in Democrats' infrastructure debate". NBC News. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  47. ^ Samuels, Montana (April 21, 2021). "NJ's Gottheimer Has A Plan To Bring Back The SALT Deduction". Patch. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  48. ^ Moen, Katie. "Andover Twp. resolution advances Lackawanna Cut-Off railroad project". New Jersey Herald. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  49. ^ Nolan, Sarah. "Gottheimer: No one should fear driving their kids across a bridge or through a tunnel". Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  50. ^ Grim, Ryan GrimSara SirotaRyan; Sirota, Sara (August 25, 2021). "Already, Cracks Emerge in Rep. Josh Gottheimer's "Unbreakable Nine"". The Intercept.
  51. ^ Ferris, Sarah; Caygle, Heather (August 24, 2021). "Anatomy of a power play: How 9 House Dems cut their deal with Pelosi". POLITICO. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  52. ^ Tully, Tracey (October 3, 2021). "Democratic Voters See Many Losers in Party Schism, and One Winner: Trump". The New York Times.
  53. ^ Nieto-Munoz, Sophie; May 9, New Jersey Monitor; 2023. "Gottheimer, Menendez fight congestion pricing outside of congested tunnel". New Jersey Monitor.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  54. ^ "NYC congestion pricing plan target of new bipartisan congressional caucus". ABC7 New York. March 15, 2023.
  55. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (September 29, 2019). "Pelosi Pushes for Simple Message on Impeachment as Inquiry Barrels Ahead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  56. ^ "Gottheimer moving on from impeachment vote". Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  57. ^ "2nd Trump Impeachment: How Rep. Josh Gottheimer Voted". Ridgewood-Glen Rock, NJ Patch. January 13, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  58. ^ "Gottheimer votes against limiting Trump war powers". New Jersey Globe. January 10, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  59. ^ "Gottheimer opposes recreational pot". New Jersey Globe. March 28, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  60. ^ Representative Josh Gottheimer. Press release. (28 February 2022). " Statement: Gottheimer Statement on Cosponsoring Spanberger's Bipartisan 'TRUST in Congress Act' to Ban Member Stock Trading Setting Up Blind Trust" Josh Gottheimer website
  61. ^ Senator Joe Manchin. (3 March 2022). "Manchin Introduces Bipartisan Ban Russian Energy Imports Act (full press conference)". 9:25 min. in.YouTube website Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  62. ^ "New Jersey Primary Results". NYT. September 29, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  63. ^ "Election Information" (PDF). NJ Department of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  64. ^ "2020-official-primary-results-us-house.pdf" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. August 9, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2020.
  65. ^ "Official General Election Results: U.S. House of Representatives" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Elections. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  66. ^ "2022 Official Primary Election Results: U.S. House of Representatives" (PDF). New Jersey Department of State - Division of Elections.
  67. ^ "FBI Text of Rev. King Speech Made Public". Los Angeles Times. May 23, 2003. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  68. ^ "Power in Words". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  69. ^ Jackson, Herb (May 4, 2015). "Donors start backing Wyckoff man as potential Garrett challenger for Congress". Archived from the original on January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  70. ^ "Marla Tusk and Josh Gottheimer". The New York Times. December 10, 2006. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byScott Garrett Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom New Jersey's 5th congressional district 2017–present Incumbent Party political offices New office Co-Chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus 2017–present Served alongside: Tom Reed, Brian Fitzpatrick Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byVicente Gonzalez United States representatives by seniority 209th Succeeded byClay Higgins