Freshman Rep. Bill Martini, who had only narrowly won this Dem-leaning district two years earlier, drew a strong opponent in Assemblyman William Pascrell.
Martini campaigned as an independent congressman, touting his solid environmental credentials (he was endorsed by the Sierra Club) and his work on local issues. But Pascrell hit Martini hard on his vote to "cut" Medicare and, as was the style of the times, painted Martini as a Newt Gingrich clone.
Martini hit back with his own negative ads on the environment and taxes, but it wasn't enough. Despite outspending his challenger by $400,000, Clinton's huge margin in New Jersey combined with a Republican backlash in the northeast was too much for Bill Martini to bear. Pascrell won by over 6,000 votes.