1997 College graduate and two-term New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer will be the Democratic nominee in New Jersey's fifth district, after 2005 Perelman School of Medicine graduate and Glen Rock councilwoman Arati Kreibich conceded the race on Wednesday.
Although it was a local election, widespread media coverage of the race between both Penn graduates attracted national attention, prompting endorsements from prominent United States politicians. Gottheimer, a moderate, was endorsed by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Congressional Black Caucus, while Kreibich, a progressive and former volunteer for Gottheimer, was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Kreibich also earned an endorsement from Penn Justice Democrats.
Following Kreibich's concession, Gottheimer released a statement thanking his volunteers and campaign team. Gottheimer wrote that he believes the support he has received to be not only an endorsement of himself as a candidate, but as an endorsement of the Democratic ideas and values of the larger New Jersey community, citing racial justice, clean water, affordable health care, and lower taxes as key issues that defined the goals of his campaign.
Gottheimer also emphasized the importance of civic engagement in the modern world, praising Kreibich’s work as an example.
“It’s more important than ever that Americans need to be politically and civically active, and Arati’s engagement is a good example of the responsibility we all have as citizens," Gottheimer wrote in his statement. "I’m eager to work with all Democrats, in our 'big tent' Party, as we fight for victory in November.”
Kreibich said in her concession video that she will be voting for Gottheimer in November, among other Democrats on the ballot, in order to “beat Trump and the GOP agenda.” She decided to challenge Gottheimer in this year's primary based on his response to last year's humanitarian crisis at the border, when he advocated for the passage of an emergency border funding bill that gave $280 million to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which had garnered backlash from liberals in the district.
Kreibich also reminded her supporters that while her own campaign has ended, the progressive movement will continue both locally and nationally as the November election approaches. She thanked her supporters, student fellows, staff volunteers, and national allies in the larger progressive coalition.
As of June 17, Kreibich raised around $475,000 in campaign funding while Gottheimer raised over $5.3 million, according to New Jersey Globe.
“We are meeting this moment with a movement that is here to stay,” Kreibich said. “Know that this movement, centering the needs of our communities and demanding what is right, is not going anywhere. We are here for the long haul.”
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