The newest member of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, a Democrat, has been sworn in to office.
Democrat Josh Gottheimer took his seat in the House on Tuesday as part of the 115th Congress.
Before today, New Jersey’s 12 congressional seats were evenly spilt 6-6 between Republicans and Democrats. Gottheimer’s swearing in tilts that balance to 7 Democrats to 5 Republicans representing New Jersey in congress.
Gottheimer unseated seven-term conservative Republican Rep. Scott Garrett in November. He will represent the 5th district in Northern New Jersey that includes parts of Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties.
Gottheimer, a Democrat, is a former Bill Clinton speechwriter and Microsoft executive. His victory culminated a nasty campaign in which he painted Garrett as anti-gay and Garrett cast him as dishonest.
The other incumbent members of the state’s Congressional delegation all won re-election in November.
New Jersey’s political clout will be elevated in the new Congress. Republican Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen is the new chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which proposes federal spending levels for the House of Representatives.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.