TWO YEARS ago, Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, overcame a rough-and-tumble Democratic primary against former Rep. Steve Rothman on his way to winning the right to represent the newly redrawn 9th Congressional District, which comprises many more Bergen County towns than did Pascrell’s old Passaic-heavy 8th District.
Two years later, Pascrell seems none the worse for the change. During his meeting with The Record’s editorial board this month, Pascrell, indeed, seemed reenergized about working on new challenges facing towns like Fort Lee, Lyndhurst and North Arlington, while also keeping a close eye out for his old constituencies in Paterson, Passaic and Clifton.
No matter whom Pascrell represents, the former Paterson mayor, now seeking his 10th term, has always been a relentless, hands-on legislator, a man unafraid to speak his mind, yet one who is more than able to work across the aisle with Republican colleagues to deliver federal dollars when they are needed. During his first term in the 9th, Pascrell has been active, whether pursuing federal housing money for Paterson and resources to improve the plight of veterans, or continuing his long fight to test for and prevent traumatic brain injuries for young athletes and military personnel.
Significantly, Pascrell helped Moonachie get badly needed Federal Emergency Management Agency money to aid in the rebuilding of municipal offices damaged during Superstorm Sandy, and he has continually helped Paterson secure federal grants to hire police officers — especially critical since the city had to lay off 125 officers due to budget cuts in 2011.
Pascrell’s opponent, Dierdre Paul, a Montclair State University professor and Republican from Englewood, has described Pascrell as a Washington insider. Refreshingly, Paul doesn’t seem to come from the same rigid, hard-line mentality that characterizes so many members of Congress.
She is conservative, but very practical on the matter of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and she said she would not seek its repeal. She also opposes the Common Core educational standards, opposes abortion and doesn’t support any funding for Planned Parenthood. On immigration, she said she is “not in favor of amnesty.”
Paul said she would fight toward “ensuring that the middle class is once again able to thrive.”
The middle-class residents living in the 9th District, however, already have a champion in Pascrell. He has served many Passaic County constituents faithfully for years, and in the past two years he has shown the same level of commitment in working for the people of Bergen County as well.
The Record endorses Bill Pascrell Jr. in the 9th Congressional District.
Posted October 28 2014 at 2:17 PM Permanent Link