The New Jersey Democratic State Committee (NJDSC) issued a statement on Thursday claiming that Rep. Scott Garrett’s (R-5) “hateful anti-LGBT views” have made him “toxic to the corporations that previously supported his campaign.”
The release cites Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports that detail Garrett’s fundraising this year compared to the same point during previous campaigns. According to those FEC reports, Garrett’s first quarter funding has dipped significantly in terms of contributions from businesses since the last three election years. In 2010, his quarter one earnings from businesses were $57,500. In 2012 they were $73,563. In 2014 they were $62,250. This year, Garrett’s quarter one earnings from businesses are around $15,500.
The NJDSC statement alleges that this difference was sparked by a July 2015 Politico article claiming that Garrett would not be paying organization dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it supports gay candidates. That alleged statement was jumped on by Garrett’s challenger, Democrat Josh Gottheimer. Just last month, Garrett remarked that his words had been taken out of context and that he has no ill will toward LGBT individuals, however, he feels that candidates should be mindful of the traditional Republican platform which does not support gay marriage.
The statement also alleges that due to corporate fundraising shortcomings, Garrett has turned to “anti-LGBT” Tea Party conservatives to fill the gaps including the Family Research Council, Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI), among others.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman Tim Eustace held a rally outside of a Fidelity Investments branch in Paramus to pressure the firm to halt future contributions to Garrett. Like many of the companies that have cut ties with Garrett, Fidelity has policies surrounding LGBT inclusivity and safety in the workplace.
Garrett’s campaign responded with this statement: “Congressman Garrett has consistently fought for the interests of his constituents and is grateful for the continued support of people across the Fifth District. Mr. Gottheimer and his crony Clinton buddies are sadly still spreading lies in their attempt to desperately paint Congressman Garrett as vulnerable – when in fact the voters have proven this narrative to be false. Congressman Garrett is pleased to receive support from people across New Jersey as well as from businesses and colleagues who respect his low-tax, pro-growth positions.”