Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Blog

The race to represent New Jersey’s 9th District will be getting even more attention soon. In June, Rep. Bill Pascrell won a tough primary against Rep. Steven Rothman. He did it with no small amount of support from the Arab American community, resulting in some detractors trying to make the race a referendum on Arab-Israeli relations. As a result, the primary got a lot of attention.

Now the general election is getting national press, with the announcement that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has made a $500,000 contribution to Pascrell’s opponent, GOP candidate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.  The impact of this donation reaches farther than the Boteach political coffers—it has elevated Boteach to a “Contender” in the Republican National Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program.  That, in turn, means that Boteach’s campaign will have more visibility in the party—including visits from high-profile Republicans.

Adelson’s donation—and Boteach’s induction into “Contender” status, adds yet another element to an interesting race. This is a strongly Democratic district, but it’s also been newly redrawn. Boteach has a high profile as an author and media personality, but Pascrell is an incumbent. It’s too soon to know whether this campaign boost really will be a “game changer,” as Boteach claims. But even Democratic campaign consultants admit, it’s got them scrambling.