Former U.S. Rep. Herbert Klein has endorsed Rep. Bill Pascrell in his upcoming race against fellow Democrat Steve Rothman in a reconfigured District 9.
“The two men’s voting records on issues relating to Israel are very close to being the same thing,” Klein, a Little Falls attorney who represented Pascrell’s current District 8 in Congress from 1993 to 1995, told NJ Jewish News. “But Pascrell is my congressman and I think he has done a terrific job. I believe in supporting people who have done a good job.”
Klein is the leading Jewish public figure to support Pascrell in his primary against Rothman. Klein has been a board member at Beth Israel Hospital of Passaic and the Daughters of Miriam Center for the Aged in Clifton. He is a past president of the Jewish Federation of Clifton-Passaic.
Klein said he is concerned that Rothman chose to run against Pascrell rather than face down Rep. Scott Garrett in the reconfigured District 5. Garrett, a Republican, is one of the most conservative members of Congress, said Klein.
“If you look at Garrett’s record, he doesn’t help our cause at all. It would have been a great opportunity to have him gone and have that district represented by Steve Rothman,” he said.
Rothman won an early endorsement from Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Dist. 36), the only Orthodox Jewish member of the State Legislature.
Klein said it was “absolutely not true” that Rothman would lose badly in a race against Garrett.
“Rothman would win in that district,” he said. “If Steve ran in that district I would work very hard for him. He would have no problem defeating Garrett. It would be the best thing to happen in terms of those issues important to us as Jewish American voters.”