Five of the Republicans challenging Democratic incumbents for Congressional seats in New Jersey made a familiar argument for why they should be elected to represent the Garden State.
“Your Democrat House leaders in the state have failed you,” said Frank Pallotta, who is running against Josh Gottheimer in the 5th Congressional District.
Pallotta accused Democrats of allowing increases in crime, illegal immigration, opioid addition and deaths. Arguments that echoed the grander party’s messaging across the country. He also argued that Democrats failed in managing the economy.
“Not only have they succeeded in making New Jersey one of the most unaffordable states in the nation with one of the lowest business friendly environments,” he continued, “but they have failed in their promise to eliminate the SALT cap, which would have helped countless New Jersey residents through these difficult times.”
The State and Local Tax deduction (SALT) allowed residents to write off property taxes on real estate that is not used for business. In 2017, a cap on SALT deductions was approved by the Republican-controlled Congress and signed by President Trump, as part a sweeping rewrite of the tax code. The cap is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025.
“With chants of ‘No SALT, No Dice,’ Josh Gottheimer, Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill and nearly every House Democrat in the state promised to reach across the aisle to bring the relief we so desperately need here in New Jersey,” Pallotta added. “Nearly five years have passed since those promises were first made and subsequently broken.”
Pallotta did not commit to tying removal of the SALT cap with supporting Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for House Speaker, should he be elected and Republicans win control in the lower chamber.
“I’m sure Leader McCarthy will sit down and try and figure out with the new leadership that comes in, what we need to do to move things forward,” he said. “But I’m not going to put the cart before the horse.”
Bob Healy, who is challenging Andy Kim’s re-election in the 3rd Congressional District, also weighed in. He said SALT “illustrates [Kim’s] failure to stand up” for residents.
“I would argue outside of a random tweet or press release, never even tried,” he said. “Worse, he’s been AWOL.”
Pallotta and Healy were joined by Sue Kiley, Paul DeGroot and Darius Mayfield, who are challenging Frank Pallone, Mikie Sherrill and Bonnie Watson Coleman, respectively. He added that their collective decades of experience running business gives them the background “to bring economic prosperity and bipartisan leadership, law and order and civility back to our state.”
“Andy Kim, Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherrill have a combined nine years of private sector experience under their belts,” said Pallotta. “It’s no wonder New Jersey economic problems are as bad as they are.”
Mayfield said he was “happy to join these men and women,” adding they are “really showing true leadership, real bipartisanship…which we need all across this country.”
“I have all confidence that every single person up here, once elected to the House of Representatives, will continue that tradition and make sure we stand up for the American people.”
Phil Swibinski, spokesman for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, said the state’s Democratic House delegation “has done extraordinary work cleaning up the messes left by [former] President Donald Trump and delivering major policy wins for middle class New Jersey families.”
Among the accomplishments he cited was the Gateway Tunnel project in North Jersey receiving federal funding, the passage of bills to address infrastructure and lowering costs of prescription drugs and energy.
“While Democrats work on delivering progress and actually helping people, Republicans running here in New Jersey and throughout the nation complain, complain, and complain some more,” he said. “In the end, they bring no solutions of their own and are more concerned with protecting the very rich and taking away our fundamental rights than on delivering progress for the middle class.”
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