If U.S. Rep. Steven Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) decides not to seek re-election next year, possible candidates for his seat include: State Sens. Robert Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) and Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge), retiring Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood), Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood), and Bergen County Freeholder Bernadette McPherson.
If State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) loses her bid for Lt. Governor, she could emerge as a strong candidate for Congress. If Weinberg wins, Huttle is the favorite to take her State Senate seat. Sarlo, the Senate Judiciary Chairman, has not expressed a huge desire to go to Congress; he is a possible candidate for Senate Majority Leader next year, or to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
Wildes, who is not seeking re-election after two terms as mayor, has long been interested in Rothman’s congressional seat. A strong fundraiser, he has $642,983 sitting in a federal campaign account, just in case.
More than 70% of the Democratic primary voters live in Bergen County. The district includes Secaucus and parts of Jersey City, North Bergen, and Kearny, and Hawthorne in Passaic County.