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Dr. Arati Kriebich is challenging Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) in New Jersey's fifth congressional district. (Photo: @Arati4Congress/Twitter)

Progressive Challenger Kreibich Slams Right-Wing Democrat Gottheimer for "Trump Values" Voting Record

"Josh Gottheimer should be ashamed of his pro-Trump record," Kreibich said. "NJ-5 deserves a real Democrat who will stand tall for health care for all and bold climate action."

Julia Conley

With just over a week to go before the New Jersey Democratic primary, Dr. Arati Kreibich released a digital ad on Monday slamming her opponent in the state's 5th Congressional District, conservative Rep. Josh Gottheimer, for repeatedly espousing "Trump values" and voting with Republicans.

Gottheimer, who has served in Congress since 2017, voted with President Donald Trump nearly 77% of the time, the ad states, supporting legislation to give legal rights to a pregnancy and to officially declare support for ICE and its targeting of undocumented immigrants.

The ad refers to Gottheimer as the president's "favorite Democrat" and shows a clip of the congressman appearing with Trump at the White House, before highlighting his pro-Trump votes.

"Josh Gottheimer should be ashamed of his pro-Trump record," Kreibich said in a statement as the ad was released. "NJ-5 deserves a real Democrat who will stand tall for health care for all and bold climate action."

Gottheimer also supported a rollback of regulations put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act and voted not to restrict the president from taking military action against Iran without congressional approval.

"These aren't New Jersey values, they're Trump values," the ad's narrator says. "On July 7, vote for a real Democrat."

The digital ad was released the same day Kreibich debated Gottheimer on WRNJ, a local radio station.

Kreibich accused Gottheimer in the debate of prioritizing Covid-19 relief which has "been disproportionately bailing out corporations rather than bailing out working families in [the 5th district]," and later criticized her opponent for not supporting a universal healthcare plan and accepting corporate PAC money.

Kreibich volunteered for Gottheimer's reelection campaign in 2018 but, according to The Intercept, the neuroscientist and council member in Glen Rock, N.J. "decided to challenge him after he supported Trump's border wall fight last year, obstructing Democratic efforts to include more protections for children in detention."

"He not only hasn't stood up for our values in Congress, he's also actively worked against the party," Kreibich told The Intercept.

Kreibich has vowed to fight for Medicare for All should she win the congressional seat, as well as the Green New Deal, raising taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans, and making public college tuition-free in the U.S. as it was for many students in the past.  

By refusing to support the Green New Deal, Kreibich tweeted Monday, Gottheimer is "ignoring his own constituents."

Kreibich has been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), the Sunrise Movement, and a number of other progressive groups.

Gottheimer has a fundraising advantage over Kreibich, but the insurgent candidate reported this month that according to her campaign's internal polling, she comes within a two-point margin of winning for respondents who are familiar with both Kreibich and her opponent. 

"With eight days to go until the primary, I'm thrilled to see voters continue to embrace our message of real change!" Kreibich said Monday. 


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