Ben’s Primary Rundown: McCann Tries again in CD5

NJ CD 5 County Breakdown, Warren, Sussex, Passaic, and Bergen from Left to Right

The Republican Primary in New Jersey’s 5th district has once again come down to a two man race. John McCann returns from 2018 and is facing off against Frank Pallota for the nomination. Josh Gottheimer flipped the district by a small margin in 2016, defeating incumbent Scott Garret, and then won re-election in 2018 by a large margin. I will talk about his primary in a separate article in a few days. The Republican primary to replace him is mostly a two-man race, with a few other people running as well.

Counties in Red gave line to McCann, Green to Pallotta, Black did not award.

The two main Candidates for the Republican nomination are Frank Pallotta, a Businessman, and John McCann, the 2018 nominee and former Cresskill Councilman. McCann has the support of the Bergen County Republican Party, and has secured their line on the Primary Ballot, which is sure to be beneficial as Bergen accounts for the largest amount of votes in the Primary, albeit to a lesser extent then on the Democratic side. However McCann’s fundraising has been low, as it was in 2018. He also has the support of Montvale Mayor Mike Ghassali, who dropped out of the race in April. Pallotta on the other hand seems to have a broader base of support, capturing the County Lines in Passaic, Sussex, and Warren Counties, as well as the endorsements of numerous prominent New Jersey Republicans including State Senators Cardinale and Corrado, as well as Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi. Another prominent endorsement is Carlos Rendo, the mayor of Woodcliff Lake and L.G Nominee in 2017.

2018 Republican Primary in CD-5

In 2018, McCann won the Republican nomination by a 6 point margin against Steve Lonegan. He carried Bergen County by a 13.7% margin while losing the remaining counties by a 3.7% margin. In 2018, Bergen accounted for 56% of the primary vote in the Republican Primary, while Passaic, Sussex, and Warren accounted for a combined 44% or an individual 7%, 23%, and 13% respectively.

There are two other candidates on the ballot for the Republican Nomination. James Baldini, and Hector Castillo Baldini is a teacher who I have tweeted about in the past, in part due to a section on his website that was dedicated to Pizza and Ice Cream Reviews. Castillo is a physician who I had not heard of until a week ago when I saw a bunch of lawn signs of his on the highway near my house. Neither are expected to have strong showings on the 7th.

I would say that Pallotta has the advantage going into this Primary. He has more organizational support than McCann, despite having the line in Bergen. He also has a larger number of prominent elected officials behind him than McCann, and the voters of the district may be wary of giving the nomination to him again after he lost the normally Republican district to Gottheimer by over 13% last year. My current rating for this district is Lean Pallotta.

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