With nearly every provisional vote counted across all four counties in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, it is time to turn the page on the 2020 election cycle and look ahead. A deficit of 17 percentage points on election night, was quickly reduced by more than 60 percent to approximately 7.5 percent today. The decision I made more than 19 months ago, to run for Federal office as an outsider and a first-time candidate, was the best and most rewarding decision I’ve ever made.
The rights of all New Jersey voters were infringed upon in 2020. Fair-minded people of all political persuasions can agree that our state was ill-prepared for the mandatory vote-by-mail election that was forced upon us. In fact, during the primary, five percent of the ballots in one of the four counties in our district, were lost – and the length of time needed to process and tabulate the vote did not encourage confidence. Going forward, people of good will should work together to ensure that the process works better in all future elections. The old adage informing us that how the game is played is as important as the result, is certainly applicable here.
Almost four weeks removed from an election in one of the most advanced countries on the face of the earth, and there are still nearly a dozen federal races that are still in question — including the one for the White House. That this could happen in the birthplace of modern democracy, is beyond comprehension and should never again be tolerated – by any party. Regardless of outcome, elections should be free from controversy and questions of deception or statistical anomalies.
While it was clear the final results of the 2020 District 5 Congressional race would not change, the reason I waited to address you was that I was adamant in my belief that every voice should be heard before you heard mine. It would be disrespectful to the many thousands who voted late, or waited in line to vote provisionally, for me to speak before their votes were even counted. When you lose sight of your voters, you lose purpose.
More than 193,000 residents in our district have entrusted me with their votes, their voices, and their hearts — which is more than any other previous Congressional candidate has ever received in this District. I will never take for granted the trust you have placed in me, and will continue to speak out against injustice, support our veterans and the underserved, and work with our business owners who are facing the fight of their lives.
The future of our District, our State and this great Republic is infinitely more important than a single race or an individual candidate. Thousands of our beloved veterans and seniors died alone in long-term care facilities from COVID-19. Hundreds of our small businesses have disappeared — some forever — because of the economic shut-down; and finally, countless police officers who have devoted their lives to law enforcement, have been abandoned, reviled, and defunded by the very leaders we assumed would have their backs. This was permitted to happen because of poor crisis management, deliberate betrayal, lack of accountability and an unwillingness to make the tough decisions.
As you’ve heard me say throughout this campaign: “leaders lead.” Their responsibilities go well beyond the job and a title. Ultimately, a true leader transcends both politics and party. They fight for what is right and push all else aside. I plan to stay involved and to fight for the district I’ve called home for more than 30 years.
Good luck and Godspeed, Congressman Gottheimer. May the Lord guide you and all our political leaders — regardless of party — to do the right thing for our great country. As a society, we cannot continue to seek out economic salvation through legislation. We must instead encourage innovation and individual responsibility in pursuit of lasting and meaningful prosperity. It is only then, that we will truly be free.
It was once written: “A politician thinks of the next election — a statesman, of the next generation.” As a businessman, I have always endeavored to do the right things for my clients and my shareholders. Likewise, as a political outsider, I plan to do only what is right for our residents and voters. That is all I know, because that is all that matters.
Thank you all for your support and God bless.
2020 Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, District 5