SECAUCUS – U.S. Rep Steven Rothman (D-Englewood) was defeated Tuesday night by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) who was able to get more people to come out in his home county of Passaic. Pascrell goes on to run against Republican Rabbi Shmuley Boteach of Englewood in the November election.
“We did it!” said Bill Pascrell to a cheering crowd at Passaic County Community College. “Now the real work starts and I’m ready for it. I’m ready for the real work.”
Redistricting combined portions of Congressional Districts 5, 8, and 9 into two districts and created a new 9th that included Secaucus and Kearny as the only two Hudson County municipalities. The redistricting originally pitted Rothman, who lived in Fair Lawn, against Republican Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in the 5th District. But Rothman moved to Englewood, choosing to run in the 9th against fellow Democrat Pascrell, a factor that Pascrell never let Rothman forget throughout the campaign. Pascrell described himself as the “Fighter” and defended his record against regular attacks by Rothman who attempted to out-Democrat Pascrell referring to himself as the “Progressive Champion.”
“As a long life Patersonian my parents told me not to start fights but to know how to end them,” said Pascrell. “Tonight we did just that.”
The atmosphere in Fort Lee was more subdued as Rothman gave his concession speech shortly after calling Pascrell.
“I would have loved to continue to serve the 9th congressional district, the old one and the new one but the voters made their choice,” said Rothman. He said he was proud of his public service including sixteen years in the House of Representatives. Rothman said he would return to Washington, DC to finish out his term through December but that his future is unknown.
“I don’t think I will be running for public office ever again,” said Rothman. “I told Bill that I look forward to helping him and the entire Obama team.”