Local Women Leaders Denounce Rep. Scott Garrett At Rally

Dozens of women in Paramus Tuesday protested the seven-term congressman's voting record.

Patch — November 1, 2016

By Daniel Hubbard (Patch Staff)

PARAMUS, N.J. — Dozens of women leaders representing organizations throughout the Garden State rallied against Rep. Scott Garrett Tuesday, calling out the seven-term incumbent's voting record.

Garrett's voting record has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks. He was the only New Jersey legislator to vote against requiring health insurers to provide coverage for annual mammograms. He also voted against an amendment that would have protected rape victim's' privacy, and is pro-guns and was only nine congressman to vote against the Violence Against Women Act.

"A woman is five times more likely to be murdered in a domestic violence incident if her partner owns a gun," said Bonnie Chalek of the Bergen County Brady Chapter, a nonprofit that works to end gun violence in the United States. "Scott Garrett is so pro-gun he's earned an "A" from the NRA. His pro-gun votes put the lives of women, especially those in abusive relationships, in great peril."

New Jersey Citizen Action, an organization that has been trying to educate voters for months on Garrett's voting record to try and oust him, sponsored the rally.

Garrett has come under constant criticism since Politico reported last year that he would stop contributing to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it backs gay candidates.

"Garrett's blatant discrimination towards the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender community, a mindset more fitting the 1950s than 2016," makes him one of only two incumbent New Jersey federal representatives not to be endorsed for re-election by Garden State Equality, said Luanne Peterpaul, the organization's chairperson.

"He can no longer represent New Jersey values in Washington, D.C.," Peterpaul said.

Representatives from Planned Parenthood, the New Jersey Education Association also attended the rally.

Garrett is locked what one political watchdog group called a "toss-up" race with Democrat Josh Gottheimer, a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton from Wyckoff.

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