NEW JERSEY (CBS/CNN) — Turncoat Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who flipped New Jersey’s 2nd District from red to blue in 2018, then flipped it back, of his own accord, in 2019, will face a Kennedy in November. Brigid Callahan Harrison, a Montclair State University political science professor, conceded the Democratic race in New Jersey’s 2nd District to Amy Kennedy, a mental health advocate, former history teacher from South Jersey, and wife of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, on Tuesday night.
Multiple counties in New Jersey are still counting the results of the election, which will count all mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and received by July 14.
Callahan Harrison’s concession came less than two hours after the polls closed. At the time of her concession, Kennedy led the race with roughly 55% of the vote to Callahan Harrison’s 32%.
Democrats are, unsurprisingly, primed to unseat Van Drew, who broke from the party last year after voting against impeachment. His defection came with a promise of “undying support” to President Donald Trump.
“As I have stated many times over the last few months, there is far more that unifies us than divides us and we will not beat Jeff Van Drew unless we remain unified and focused on November,” Callahan Harrison said. “We remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure that Amy Kennedy defeats Jeff Van Drew in November.”
Kennedy’s win is also a triumph for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who endorsed her two weeks ago over Callahan Harrison, the choice of state political powerbroker George Norcross and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Harrison also had the backing of US Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.
What Kennedy had, in addition to the support of the governor, was a $500,000 donation to her own cause and a last name that Democrats tend to vote for when it’s on a ballot.
They’ll be rushing to do it again in November, when Van Drew — who clinched the GOP nomination on Tuesday — tries for a second term, this time as a Republican from the start.
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