The New York Times reports on a New Jersey Democrat’s challenge of a Republican New Jersey congressman, helped by significant ties with the Clinton organization. The story opens with a visit to Wesley Clark’s office in Little Rock.
The story is larded with familiar connections beyond the Clintons themselves for Josh Gottheimer, described as a centrist “new Democrat,” by Thomas F. McLarty III, speaking of Arkansas ties.
In its broad contours, the race may mirror the dynamics of the upcoming presidential election: It pits a mainstream Democrat bonded to the political establishment against a Republican who is closely aligned with the party’s riled-up activist base.
If most Democratic candidates are looking to Mrs. Clinton to lift their fortunes in 2016, few can claim as direct a connection to the former secretary of state as Mr. Gottheimer, who began his career as a young speechwriter in the Clinton White House and advised Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign.
In Little Rock, Mr. Gottheimer presented himself as “very fiscally conservative and more socially liberal,” said Brooke Vines, a media consultant who attended the event.
Social issues have been prominent in the race against Republican Rep. Scott Garrett, a conservative hard-liner, particularly on gay issues. He refused to donate to the national Republican campaign committee because it supported two gay GOP candidates.