Democrats Target New Jersey Republican for Stance on Gay Candidates

House Majority PAC airs first general election ad of the year

House Majority PAC is making New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett the target of its first general election TV ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats hope that the words of one New Jersey Republican — contrary to his own party's support for gay candidates — will come back to hurt him in the general election.  

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that works to elect Democrats to the House, goes on cable this week in New Jersey's 5th District with an approximately $80,000 ad buy attacking incumbent GOP Rep. Scott Garrett.   

[ House Majority PAC Reserves TV Time Early for Fall ]   

This is the group's first general election ad of the year.   

Garrett has refused to pay dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee because, he said, the committee recruited gay candidates and supported them in primaries. He told this to some of his fellow Republicans on the Financial Services Committee last summer. 

[ Roll Call’s 2016 Election Guide ]

In the months since Garrett's comments were made public, much of his fundraising from the financial services industry has dried up .  

The ad, titled "Quotes," features critiques of Garrett from New Jersey newspaper editorials.  

[ Poll: House Incumbents Who Oppose LGBT Rights Lose Support ]


The ad lets the newspapers slam Garrett for his position on gays, and then makes the argument that Garrett, who represents a district close to New York City, would hurt the state's relationship with business.   

"Scott Garrett. He's bad for business and wrong for New Jersey," the ad says.   

Democrat Josh Gottheimer, a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, is challenging Garrett in November. Gottheimer outraised Garrett during the first quarter of 2016 by about $350,000.

Contact Pathé at  simonepathe@rollcall.com  and follow her on Twitter at  @sfpathe .

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