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Two New Jersey incumbents thrown together by redistricting hold debate

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February 27, 2012

New Jersey: New Jersey congressional incumbents and friends Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell held their first debate in advance of the Democratic primary for New Jersey's 9th Congressional District elections. Pascrell currently represents New Jersey's 8th Congressional District, but when the state redistricted following the 2010 census, his territory and Rothman's were drawn together into a new 9th District.[1]

In their debate on February 23, the candidates addressed an audience of 100 at a community college in Pascrell's territory.[1]

While Rothman had called the contest "awkward and difficult," Pascrell has stated he wishes his opponent had challenged Republican incumbent Scott Garrett for the 5th District, which also includes much of Rothman's original territory. Because the newly drawn 5th is strongly Republican,[2] Rothman chose instead to challenge his Democratic colleague Pascrell.[1]

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