- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

NORTHVALE, N.J. (AP) - A former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and Microsoft executive said Monday he is running for Congress as a Democrat to oust Republican incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett in northern New Jersey.

Josh Gottheimer announced his long-anticipated decision in Northvale with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker by his side.

Gottheimer says it’s time for the district to have a lawmaker who wants to “bring people together.”

“I’m running for Congress because I think we need someone here in the Fifth District who will bring a get-things-done approach to Washington,” Gottheimer said.

Garrett, a conservative attorney and former Assembly member, has represented the 5th District for seven terms.

He recently denied having “malice in my heart” in response to reports that said he withheld donations to a Republican Party committee because it supported gay candidates.

“Calling me names or implying that I have malice in my heart for any person or group of people is false and completely disingenuous,” Garrett said in statement last month.

A message with Garrett’s campaign was not immediately returned

Gottheimer, 40, has $1.3 million on hand for his run, compared to Garrett’s $2.4 million. But Gottheimer raised $375,000, more than double what Garrett hauled in, during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Gottheimer said the district gets 33 cents in federal aid for every dollar in taxes sent to Washington and he wants to change that to benefit residents.

He served as Clinton’s speechwriter, with a focus on the economy and budget from 1998 to 2003. He went on to serve as a counselor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission before arriving at Microsoft, where he worked as an executive on a team concentrated on marketing, among other areas.

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