Power Company Agrees To End Contributions To Scott Garrett

NJ.com — June 22, 2016

By Myles Ma | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A major utility agreed Tuesday to stop making campaign contributions to Rep. Scott Garrett.

Democrats have targeted the Republican congressman's donors since the emergence of reports that Garrett would not support the House Republicans' fundraising arm because it backed gay candidates.

First Energy, the company that owns Jersey Central Power and Light, agreed to stop its support ahead of a planned protest organized by Assemblyman Tim Eustace (D-Bergen), along with New Jersey Citizen Action, Garden State Equality, New Jersey Sierra Club and Health Professionals and Allied Employees.

"It is encouraging to see another business say they have had enough of Scott Garrett's anti-LGBT hatred," Eustace said.

Sarah Neibart, campaign manager for Garrett, issued a statement in response:

"Isn't Tim Eustace an elected official? I'm sure his constituents would like to know why he's spending all of his time spreading lies about Congressman Garrett, rather than representing them," she said.

PNC Bank, UBS and Goldman Sachs are among the companies that have also dropped support for Garrett in recent months. First Energy had donated $3,000 to Garrett this election cycle. The company has made regular contributions to Democrats and Republicans, including Garrett, in past years.

Garrett is considered the most vulnerable N.J. House incumbent this year. He faces a challenge from Democrat Josh Gottheimer, a former speech writer for President Bill Clinton.

A group affiliated with House Democrats this month launched an $80,000 ad campaign highlighting his reported stances on gay candidates.

The race is shaping up to be one of the most expensive in the country. Garrett reported a campaign balance of $2.6 million in May, while Gottheimer had $2 million.

Gottheimer on Monday received the endorsement of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, a union representing 33,000 police officers. Union leaders criticized Garrett for voting against a spending bill that included a measure that would have aided 9/11 first responders.

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