Scott Garrett for Congress

Scott Garrett doesn’t fit the usual profile for a Power Line pick. Usually, we pick up-and-coming candidates like Tom Cotton, Mia Love, Joni Ernst, and Alex Mooney.

Garrett has represented New Jersey’s fifth congressional district since 2003. However, he’s locked in a difficult race this year. Given his strongly conservative record, we are asking our readers to support him.

Garrett is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus. He has the backing of the Club for Growth. The American Conservative Union rated him 100 percent last year. His lifetime ACU rating is 99.38.

Garrett’s unabashed social conservatism helps explain why he’s facing such a tough race this year. Politico reported that Garrett refused to donate to the National Republican Congressional Committee because it backs gay candidates. This report caused the left to rally against him. Some of his usual financial backers — e.g., Goldman Sachs, PNC, and State Farm — stopped contributing.

Garrett denied the report, saying that his objection was not to backing gay candidates, but rather candidates who support gay marriage. He cites the Republican platform, which states: “The union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard.”

Personally, I’m not opposed to gay marriage as long as it’s not judicially imposed. However, I have no problem with a congressman who, on religious grounds, does not want to back candidates who are unwilling to support the Republican platform on this issue.

The issue, in any event, is a side show. The House of Representatives isn’t a player in the dispute over gay marriage.

Gay marriage is not the issue in this race; the issue is whether a candidate with a spotless conservative record on the issues the House deals with will be replaced by a liberal Democrat who used to write speeches for Bill Clinton and John Kerry.

He might be. The last poll I saw (from early September) had Garrett leading by only 2 points. And earlier this week, according to Politico, top conservative leaders in the House met with Speaker Paul Ryan to sound the alarm bell about Garrett’s race.

We at Power Line were already alarmed. That’s why we selected Scott Garrett as one of our picks.

You can support Rep. Garrett by donating here. I just did.