PARAMUS - A congressional race in New Jersey is turning ugly as the long-term Republican incumbent is taking attacks from a new Democratic challenger.
Rep. Scott Garret has been the congressman for New Jersey’s 5th District for 13 years. This election he is running against Democrat Josh Gottheimer, a former Clinton speechwriter. Both men are accusing the other of being part of an establishment that’s past its prime.
“My opponent is part of the Clinton establishment, is a Clinton insider...I don’t think voters really want that anymore,” says Garrett.
However Garret is also facing criticism. He reportedly made anti-homosexual comments, and activists are urging corporate donors to pull their support from him.
Last year the website Politico.com reported through anonymous sources that Garrett said that he wouldn't support a Republican fundraising group because it supported gay candidates.
Garrett now says that this is not his view, although he says that he opposes gay marriage and other gay rights issues.
“My record is clear; I support anyone's right to run for office and I’ll support those candidates who support the Republican platform,” he says.
Gottheimer says that the congressman no longer represents the constituents who voted from him for so many years.
“Socially they don’t believe that we should judge people that way. We should respect everyone,” says Gottheimer. “[Rep. Garrett] said gay people shouldn’t be allowed to run for congress. There’s been no debate about that.”
Garrett has two Republican opponents in the June primary.