Politics

What Happened to Scott Garrett?

Rep.-elect Gottheimer says outgoing N.J. congressman won’t talk transition

New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett hasn't been seen much around the Capitol since his loss. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Rep.-elect Josh Gottheimer says Rep. Scott Garrett, whom he defeated last month, is refusing to speak about the transition.

Gottheimer told The Record of Bergen County that he’s reached out to Garrett, but he hasn’t heard a word. Garrett’s staff also moved out of his office space.

“I sent him a letter before Thanksgiving, both thanking him for his service as well as asking him to meet to discuss the transition,” Gottheimer told the newspaper. “My chief also reached out to his chief of staff. We just haven’t heard back.”

The race between Garrett and Gottheimer was intensely personal, with Garrett exaggerating a lawsuit against Gottheimer, saying in ads that the Democrat had assaulted a woman when he had only wagged his finger at her, according to the newspaper. In turn, Gottheimer alleged that Garrett was under investigation, when it was actually just an advocacy group which accused him of wrongdoing.

In addition, Garrett initially refused to concede to Gottheimer, and did not mention Gottheimer’s name when he eventually did.

Democrats made Garrett a top target this year, with the House Majority PAC debuting its first general election ad of the year here. They seized on comments Garrett made last year about not paying his National Republican Congressional Committee dues to protest the committee’s support for gay candidates.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.