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Former Marine Joins Congressional Race

Candidate will move to Teaneck, report says.

Marine Corps veteran Jason Castle announced his candidacy for the 5th Congressional District Wednesday, billing himself as a moderate Democrat who would bring change to Washington politics.

In a statement, Castle said the complex challenges facing America “threaten the very soul of our nation.”

“Every day in this bleak economy we all fight to provide for our families. We have all made sacrifices and adjusted expectations,” he said. “Through all of this, politicians in Washington fight the same tired partisan battles rather than working together to put forward the serious reforms needed to pass America through this crisis.”

In a Facebook post, Castle said Congress has become focused on “pet projects” and partisan squabbles. Castle has never served in elected office, the campaign said. 

“We do not have to accept the most cynical beliefs that our government cannot change or adapt. Washington has failed because those in Washington have failed,” his statement said. “They choose to accept personal political gains over our nation’s progress. We must change the culture in Washington in order to change the results.”

Raised by his mother in Rahway, Castle attended private military academy Norwich University in Vermont, his campaign said. Castle put his schooling on hold to join the U.S. Marine Corps after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was deployed as part of the Global War on Terrorism and evacuated U.S. nationals from Lebanon.

“I carried out orders at the White House, the Pentagon, honored service members at Arlington National Cemetery and was a member of the distinguished Silent Drill Platoon honoring the President, foreign dignitaries and Heads of State. The highest honor during my tenure in Washington was being one of the select Marines honoring President Reagan during his funeral procession,” Castle wrote on his campaign Facebook page.

He now works with Fortune 1000 companies as an information technology executive.

Castle, who is married to a teacher from Teaneck and has two daughters, will move to the township from Cliffside Park, politickernj.com reported. He plans to hold a campaign kickoff at Sunday afternoon, his campaign said.

and moved into the Republican-leaning 5th, represented by conservative Republican . Three Democrats —, and Diane Sare — have all announced campaigns for the .  

Jason Flynn March 01, 2012 at 01:02 PM
This was a great read. While Mr. Castle may not have the name recognition of some of the other people in this race, when I read things like: 1. Wife is a teacher in the district 2. Served in our Marines - putting the country before his personal life 3. Never been in elected office to date... my attention is caught and I plan to follow this campaign. I wish Mr. Castle luck and hope more and more people with such a special resume and history choose to serve in public office.
JamesTS March 01, 2012 at 04:53 PM
He sounds very impress to me so far. I respect him for hisservice to our nation and for again seeking tomake changes in his community. I am very very concerned about this election with a Tea Party candidate like Garrett being the favorite. The other candidates are all boring and part of the political establishment. I will be following Mr. Castle's campaign and am hopeful what this means for the election.
B@B March 01, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Are there even other candidates, besides Mr. Castle and Terry Duffy? I fear that once again the national Democratic Party will refuse to put any money or effort into this race. I find myself really hoping that Steve Rothman loses his bid to take Bill Pascrell's seat. The DNC had already determined that they would fight this race if he were in it. Now he's not, and it looks like we are going to be dealing with another group of well-meaning but underfinanced candidates going up against Scott Garrett's flagrant misuse of his franking privileges to disseminate his lies about his own record. I will want to look more into Mr. Castle's views before determing if I will support him. I may support a "moderate" Democrat if "moderate" means what it used to. The Tea Party has moved the Republicans so far to the right that "moderate" now is where Orrin Hatch USED to be.
James Kleimann March 01, 2012 at 07:41 PM
B@B, Adam Gussen, the deputy mayor of Teaneck, has thrown his hat into the ring. I haven't heard of any others outside of him, Castle and Duffy. Ex-football player Harry Carson bowed out a few weeks ago.
DMAB6395 March 02, 2012 at 12:07 AM
By what I have read in this article I too am very impressed. I want to follow him more & get a feel for him before I decide to vote for him or not. I want to learn more about his ideas for Teaneck & the rest of NJ
DMAB6395 March 02, 2012 at 12:10 AM
How many candidates do you want to run? If you have too many candidates running then instead of the person that should be going will not get the votes that they should. I think there should be 2-3 candidates.
Ulises March 02, 2012 at 01:04 AM
B@B, you are so right. I can't wait to vote against Rothman in the primaries - he could have beaten Garrett but instead he's up against another lifer in congress... We need term limits, it's the only way to get the special interest out and put the fix on Washington. These lifers/career politicians worry more about getting elected than doing what's right for us.
delgado March 02, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Its great that he is running, but maybe instead of running in a primary to go against Garrett, maybe he should realistically aim a little lower first like councilmember, school board, freeholder, assembly, state senate, etc etc
Tommy P March 02, 2012 at 02:52 AM
This guy is destined for column B or C in the primary, there is NO chance the party bosses will allow him on column A on the primary ballot. The only question is will it be Connie Wagner, Robert Gordon, or another democrat elected official in the old Garrett district. Regardless of who it is, they will lose in the general election anyway. Rothman ran like the coward he is despite $1,800,000+ in DNC money for good reason.
Dr. Sayida Peprah March 02, 2012 at 05:35 AM
People said that our current President was just a hopeful small-name politician, who could never stand a chance against the big names in Washington... That he should aim lower...well he won the primaries and the main election in 2008, and I strongly believe he will win again. This is a new day and I believe the voters of America are willing and eager to consider new, fresh faces in all elections. I have looked into Mr. Castle's background and heard some of his key initiatives, he would be a great assets to my home town Teaneck and I urge those of you who can, to vote for such a man with strong community and family values, reasonable and attainable initiatives and dedicated spirit. Dr. Sayida Peprah, PsyD
B@B March 02, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Our current president was a state legislator and Senator before being elected to the presidency. I'm quite sure that Mr. Castle is a fine citizen who would be a fine Congressman. But with the GOP firmly behind Scott Garrett, and with him having the money advantages of incumbency, I want a candidate who can win in a district full of low-information, rote, straight-down-the-party-line voters many of whom think Marge Roukema is still their Congressman. I've seen Annes Sumers and Wolfe, Paul Aronsohn, Dennis Shulman, and Tod Theise -- fine people all -- go down in flames because of lack of money, lack of foot soldiers, lack of interest, and a fatalistic view that Garrett is unbeatable. Garrett is beatable if people realize what he is -- but that requires MONEY to get the word out, and a party that wants to win. But the NJ state party and national party both feel about the 5th, "Can't win, won't try." Can Mr. Castle convince them otherwise? I look forward to finding out, but I'm skeptical.
Karen Wells March 02, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Term Limits. That should most certainly be on everybody agenda for all elected officials. Two terms, times up.
delgado March 03, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Oh, ok, then Mr. Castle must be the candidate and all other candidates should drop out. He has the experience and he will be moving into the district. He is the best candidate.
B@B March 03, 2012 at 09:51 PM
There are already term limits in place. They are called "elections." Yes, the fact that incumbents have money and franking privileges (on the federal level) gives them an advantage, but we as citizens, if we don't like the incumbent, can take the time to do our research before blindly pressing the pad down the party line, or because the name is familiar.
Jacob March 05, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Mr. Castle is actually Senator Loretta's candidate but it is unclear whether he actually filed in time for the Bergen County Democratic convention on March 15. If he did, there will be a BIG push for him here. Otherwise, look for some $ to have him primary anyone who comes out of the convention. The sad thing is that there IS an opportunity to unseat Garrett but certain old timers in the Democratic party just won't let that happen.
DMAB6395 March 05, 2012 at 09:11 PM
In some ways I agree with Karen Wells about the term limits-I'm for it because it will limit the time that the person can be in office. But then again if we finally get a good person in office(I know hold down the laughter-I can dream,right?), then they will be limited by the term limit.
B@B March 06, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Jack: If Mr. Castle has Loretta Weinberg's endorsement, that is a major plus in my opinion. Mrs. Weinberg is known to favor reforms in the Democratic hackocracy and is one of the "good people". I will take a closer look at what his agenda is as a result.
delgado March 13, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Is Democrat Majority leader Sen. Weinberg personal candidate Castle trying to be the first candidate ever to NOT smile in a campaign photo and think he can win?
Mildred April 13, 2012 at 11:26 PM
@ delgado, Castle is a former Marine, he is trained not to smile in photos. Given the serious nature of his task,its understandable . The issues that we are faced with are not a laughing matter. A "campaign photo" has nothing to do with winning!
Yahya Sultan May 18, 2012 at 07:51 PM
He got Column A and he is going to win because he has what Gussen and Sare do not have, and that is the people's vote. Gussen has no base in Sussex or in Warren County and most people well-connected in Bergen County do not identify with Gussen at all (his only claim to fame is councilmen and deputy mayor of Teaneck but he's just like any other politician) nor Sare (shes just another LaRouche candidate).

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