New Jersey congressman Steve Rothman placed a bet last week by going public with his belief that Bill Clinton wouldn’t be wading into his Democratic congressional primary.
The veteran lawmaker’s comments to Roll Call were either an expression of supreme confidence by a man who believed he’d received a private assurance from the former president, or a desperate effort to stave off what was rumored to be coming. Whatever his motive, Rothman’s words blew up in his face on Friday morning, when Clinton threw his support behind Rep. Bill Pascrell, who is battling Rothman in one of the most intense member-on-member congressional primaries in the country.
The surprise outcome of a Democratic congressional primary in western Pennsylvania last night could serve as a source of hope for one of the region’s most endangered House members.
New Jersey’s Bill Pascrell, a punchy 75-year-old Democrat who has represented the Paterson area in the House since 1996, is waging an uphill battle against fellow Democrat Steve Rothman.(1)