Rep. Steven Rothman (D)
Elected: 1996, 7th term.
Born: Oct. 14, 1952, Englewood .
Home: Fair Lawn.
Education: Syracuse U., B.A. 1974, Washington U., J.D. 1977.
Family: Married (Jennifer); 5 children.
Elected office: Englewood mayor, 1983–89; Bergen Cnty. Surrogate Court judge, 1993–96.
Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1978–93.
The congressman from the 9th District is Steve Rothman, a Democrat first elected in 1996. Rothman grew up in Englewood and Tenafly, the grandson of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Poland, and Austria. His father was a tool and die maker but later found industrial real estate to be more profitable. Rothman went to school at Syracuse University and Washington University law school in St. Louis, and then practiced law. From 1983 to 1989, he was mayor of Englewood. In 1993, he became a judge in the Bergen County Surrogate’s Court. When Democrat Bob Torricelli ran for the Senate in 1996, Rothman resigned his judgeship to run for Torricelli’s House seat. With the party endorsement, Rothman faced Republican Kathleen Donovan, a former Bergen County clerk, state assemblywoman, and chairwoman of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority. She was endorsed by the New Jersey Education Association. But this part of New Jersey swung sharply to the Democrats after Republicans won control of Congress in 1994. The 9th District voted overwhelmingly for Bill Clinton for president that year, and voted 56%-42% for Rothman.
|Steven Rothman (D)||151,182||(68%)||($1,288,656)|
|Vincent Micco (R)||69,503||(31%)||($34,363)|
|Steven Rothman (D)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (71%), 2004 (68%), 2002 (70%), 2000 (68%), 1998 (65%), 1996 (56%)
In the House, Rothman often has been more liberal on economic issues than on foreign-policy and defense issues. He voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002, although in 2007 he backed a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. forces. The House in June 2007 passed, 411-2, his resolution condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for calling for the destruction of Israel.
On local issues, his most innovative work has been to limit further development of the Meadowlands and to get protections for environmentally sensitive areas. He secured $5.2 million to help create an 8,400-acre state park in the one-third of the Meadowlands that had not been developed. “From an industrial waste dump to a nature preserve,” is how Rothman describes the project. He fought proposals to expand the Teterboro Airport in the Meadowlands, and in 2003 the House approved his provision to ban noisy 737s at Teterboro. In 2006, he brokered a noise-control agreement for the airport, including a weight limit for jets and overnight curfews on flights.
Rothman’s district work naturally includes pitching for transportation dollars, including for projects to relieve ever-congested Route 17. On the Appropriations Committee, he has secured money for commuter rail projects in Bergen County, to expand public transportation into and out of Manhattan, and to clean up pollution in the Passaic River. Rothman also authored a bill, passed by Congress, that creates federal grants for better security in public schools, including for metal detectors, security cameras, and security training. He has obtained $50 million for the program in recent years. He often takes an interest in issues related to veterans benefits, and has been pushing to restore Bush-era cuts that eliminated health care benefits to veterans who fail to qualify as low income.
Rothman has won re-election by wide margins, and has ambitions to run for the Senate.