New Jersey: Gazing Across Hudson, Bloomberg Picks Rabbi

Posted October 29, 2008 at 6:39pm

Despite a tendency to vote Republican in national races, the majority of 5th district voters continue to register as independents, and with that in mind the campaign of Democrat Dennis Shulman is hoping to get a major boost from the endorsement of one of the country’s best-known independents, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Shulman, a Harvard-educated psychologist and ordained rabbi, is hoping to knock off Republican Rep. Scott Garrett in the northern 5th district, part of which lies just north of New York City on the Hudson River. Bloomberg, a former Democrat who was elected mayor of New York as a Republican, endorsed Shulman on Tuesday.

“I’m endorsing Dennis Shulman because I’m impressed by his pragmatic, sensible approach to the tough issues, including how we strengthen the economy and how we keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals,” Bloomberg said in a news release. “We need more leaders in Congress willing to reach across the aisle and focus on problem solving, not ideology. … He’s not afraid of shaking up Washington.”

Shulman easily won his three-way primary in June, and Democrats believe the anti-incumbent, anti-Republican environment this cycle could help push the Democrat over the top despite the fact that Garrett’s district gave President Bush a 14-point victory in 2004.