Meet the Republican candidates running for NJ’s 5th Congressional District primary

Three Republican candidates are vying for the primary nomination to go up against Democrat Josh Gottheimer in this November’s general election. New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District includes the townships of Lafayette, Hardyston, Vernon, Andover, Wantage, Newton, and West Milford. The primary election is scheduled for June 7, with early voting running from June 3 to 5.

| 20 May 2022 | 01:47

Frank Pallotta

What prompted you to run?

Washington is in dire need of leadership and business expertise to manage our inflation crisis; skyrocketing gas prices; a supply chain in disarray; and a spike in crime. The solution of those in power is to do nothing. They call the current economic climate “unprecedented.” It’s not “unprecedented” – just complex. The career politicians are clueless as to what to do to alleviate this ever-escalating burden on New Jersey families.

I have decades of experience in finance and understand the marketplace, unlike President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Congressman Gottheimer. The son of a Korean War veteran, my wife and I have been very fortunate. I want to take my expertise in economics and give back in a meaningful way.

Our nation needs an infusion of common-sense fiscal and crime policies and representatives who are not afraid to seek out private sector solutions that can make tangible dollars and cents differences for families.

What would be your primary goals to accomplish if you win?

Fix the supply chain crisis that has been a major contributor to record inflation. This includes ending our dependence on foreign energy sources and ending the dangerous practices of relying on China to manufacture our prescriptions.

Sponsor legislation that combats the recent crime wave and supports our men and women in law enforcement.

Sponsor legislation that affirms parental choice – guaranteeing parental rights when it comes to their children’s COVID inoculation, mask wearing, and the curriculum they are taught in school.

Working to enact border policies that prioritize the safety of American citizens. We must end the current open border policy that has caused a significant influx of drugs into the U.S., especially fentanyl. Any policy should provide a path to citizenship to those who share American values and want to contribute to our economy in a positive way.

What experiences do you have that you think will help you accomplish your goals?

I have had a successful, principled career in finance that provides me with the background to effectively address our current economic crisis. As a businessman, I know how to work alongside those with whom I disagree to help alleviate the inflation, supply chain, and public safety emergencies.

After leaving finance, I co-founded a New Jersey-based small business to help struggling homeowners and veterans affected by the 2008 financial crisis. That company and the programs created helped tens of thousands of homeowners avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. These programs were so innovative that we earned an award for the one of the “50 Best Inventions of 2010” by Time magazine.

I am proud to mentor the next generation of students and young Americans on entrepreneurism and business through the Leonidas Foundation and to help our veterans transition to the private sector through American Corporate Partners.

What would be your strategy?

Doing what I have done my whole life: relentlessly advocate for the people of New Jersey, including finding solutions for issues that have seemed “too hard” to solve.

I will sit down with my colleagues and fix the SALT deduction. If it means locking ourselves in a conference room until it’s done, then so be it. We must utilize every possible option at the federal level to lower the cost of living and end the brain drain that is killing New Jersey’s economy.

I think our representatives need to be not only in Washington, but in Trenton working with the governor and state legislature, and in the municipal offices of our local governments, letting all those in office know true partnerships are possible.

“No” is not an acceptable answer in the business world. I will bring a much-needed business mentality to Washington.

Nick De Gregorio

What prompted you to run?

Truthfully, I never thought I would. I joined the U.S Marines after 9/11 to serve my country. I ended up deploying four times in my nine-year career and fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan. When I came home, I went back to school, started a family, and eventually got a job in New York City. But the events of last August changed everything. I remember holding my four-month-old son and watching on the news that 13 US troops had been killed in President Biden’s botched evacuation of Afghanistan. That hit me hard as a veteran and a father. I don’t want my son to have to do what I did, so I’m raising my hand to run for Congress.

What would be your primary goals to accomplish if you win?

My primary goals will be to put the needs of working families, small businesses, and seniors first and make their lives more affordable, safer, and more secure. That means tackling inflation, restoring our SALT deduction, standing with law enforcement, and securing our border.

Our current congressman, Josh Gottheimer, is clearly more concerned about himself. He is the single largest trader of stocks in Congress — $60 million worth last year alone — while sitting on the House Financial Services Committee. How does that smell to you? I have signed a pledge to never trade stocks if elected.

I will also fight to empower parents and enshrine their right to make decisions about our children’s health and education at the kitchen table, while improving election integrity through a plan to issue a passport to every U.S. citizen on their 18th birthday to be used as their official identification for voting.

What experiences do you have that you think will help you accomplish your goals?

I saw a lot in my nine years of military service. The decisions I made were oftentimes a matter of life and death. I led hundreds of marines overseas, learning firsthand how to build and lead successful teams in incredibly challenging environments. I earned the rank of major at a fairly young age because I took my responsibilities seriously and worked relentlessly for those who were counting on me. I intimately understand the hardship and sacrifice it takes to serve this exceptional country of ours. And I raise my hand to do it again.

What would be your strategy?

All along the strategy has been simple, outwork the opposition and provide an alternative — and a check and balance — to the disastrous Biden/Gottheimer agenda that has led to skyrocketing inflation, rising gas prices, and an open border. My strategy to fix it will be to work with anyone in Congress who ran and is serving for the right reasons, which are to restore the American Dream to anyone willing to work hard to achieve it and to renew faith in our system that has been destroyed by greedy politicians who serve no one but themselves.

Sab Skenderi

What prompted you to run?

The people need a voice. I come from the average working class and know what it’s like to struggle. I see our money being used for endless wars; we feed into the propaganda machine and most of our leaders are on board with this. We need someone to represent the individual rights of people, end vaccine mandates, send back illegals, bring our troops home from useless failed conflicts. War is a racket and always has been. The masses suffer while the bureaucratic elite, banks and various corporations gain profits. No to corporate bailouts. Yes to auditing the Federal Reserve, eventually putting an end to it by transferring power back to the U.S. Treasury. We need our Bill of Rights protected, from our First to the Tenth Amendment. We need to assert our rights, less government interference in our lives and be in charge of how we raise our kids.

What would be your primary goals to accomplish if you win?

Strategy is simple. No to any laws that go against our Bill of Rights, no against any laws repugnant to the constitution. No to foreign aid, foreign wars, illegal immigration. Yes to free speech, gun rights, safeguarding our civil liberties. No to corporate welfarism. It’s not the job of our government to save monster corporations because they made their billions and now are failing. Power belongs to the people, not in the hands of a few. Get out of NATO, get out of the WHO, and remove our bases from around the world that serve foreign countries, corporations. Stop Fauci’s fake vaccine propaganda initiatives. Arrest Fauci for crimes against humanity along with his minions. Allow for free and fair trade. Take away sanctions and embargoes that hurt consumers. Allow people to choose if they want a vaccine. Vaccine mandates are repugnant to a free society and violate one’s civil liberties.

What experiences do you have that you think will help you accomplish your goals?

I’m a student of political rhetoric, public administration, and have taken part in many protests from marching in DC and Florida, NY, NJ, to petition drives. I’ve helped in many elections. I’ve written in Op-Eds, written letters to my representatives. I have customer service skills from years of working in the private sector and know how to talk to people and represent their concerns. It’s our duty to fight against encroachments of our civil liberties by big government.

What would be your strategy?

Let people know they have an alternative. They have an independent minded person that stands up for the constitution, individual freedom and civil liberties. I want people to know they have someone that can say no to vaccine mandates, endless wars, NATO, and laws that take your freedom. Absolutely oppose the global reset with Klaus Schwab who wants to create a one world system. Anyone that puts another country first before America doesn’t deserve to run and doesn’t represent you. No to regime changes. Transfer money back to the treasury and take power away from private banks that control our central bank. All that money can be used for block grants given back to the states for infrastructure, defraying cost of fuel prices, further tax credits for the working class. We need common sense policies that serve the people, not special interest groups. Restore the constitution, take back our Republic.