By CBS3 Staff

LINWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Congressman Jeff Van Drew is trying to hold onto his seat after changing parties and becoming a Republican. It’s a very close race in New Jersey as voters continued to show up before the 8 p.m. deadline.

With hours left at the polls Tuesday, Van Drew supporters strolled into his campaign office to grab signage.

While volunteers made last-ditch calls, the former Democrat-turned-Republican believes he will continue representing the largest geographic district in the state of New Jersey — the 2nd Congressional District.

“I want us to be the shining city on the hill that lifts everyone up. First, ourselves, to make sure our Americans are taken care of,” Van Drew said. “I want a strong America. I want us to be number one in energy. I want us to be number one in education. I want us to be number one in the economy. I want us to be number one in the environment.”

His opponent, first-time political candidate Amy Kennedy, believes she has what it takes to represent the 2nd Congressional District.

Currently quarantined due to possible COVID-19 exposure, the South Jersey native, and wife to Patrick Kennedy — a prior member of Congress and son of late Sen. Edward Kennedy — is doing well in the polls and says it’s time for a change.

“There’s been a failure for real representation for a long time. We have the highest unemployment in the area, we’ve got highest level of poverty, we know that people are struggling and yet we haven’t seen anyone fighting to get results,” Amy Kennedy said.

The former school teacher spoke to her reporters in a Facebook live after polls closed Tuesday evening.

“I said from the beginning of this campaign that it’s important that every voice is heard and as expected it looks like that process will continue beyond tonight. It was nearly one year ago when Jeff Van Drew abandoned the people of South Jersey and pledged his undying support to Donald Trump,” she said. “It was then that I knew I wanted to step up and do something, and tonight, after months and months of South Jersey waiting for economic relief and strong leadership that hasn’t come, I know I made the right decision.”

Kennedy says her platform will also continue to help those suffering from mental health and addiction.

Van Drew says there are a number of people with different issues in his district that he will continue working to help.

An election commissioner tells Eyewitness News that this is the smoothest election he has been a part of in his last 15 years.

He also goes on to tell me there have been no issues here in Camden County. He’s also sending a big thank you to the national guard who is helping out with those ballots.

CBS3’s Kimberly Davis and Alecia Reid contributed to this report.


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