New Jersey picks Biden and Booker, but 2 closely watched House races still undecided
The Garden State remained true blue in terms of its presidential and Senate races Tuesday night – handing victories to Joe Biden and Corey Booker – but some major House races were still in the weeds.
Closely watched contests in the South Jersey’s 2nd district and Central Jersey’s 7th district remained too close to call.
Here’s a closer look:
House District 2:
In what many consider the hottest race in the state, Democrat Amy Kennedy is challenging incumbent Rep. Jeff Van Drew.
Elected as a Democrat in 2018, Van Drew famously fled the party in December and became a Republican due to the Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Trump.
His defection culminated with a White House photo-op, during which he pledged his “undying support” to Trump.
Kennedy, a former school teacher, is married to former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
With close to 70% of the votes counted Tuesday night, Van Drew was leading with 141,197 votes compared to Kennedy’s 131,335.
The southern New Jersey district includes Atlantic City and all or part of eight counties.
A majority of its voters supported Trump in 2016 but backed Democrat Barack Obama in his two presidential runs.
House District 7:
Incumbent Democrat Tom Malinowski, a freshman in the House, faces Republican challenger Tom Kean, Jr., the state Senate Republican Minority Leader and son of former GOP Gov. Tom Kean.
The 7th District includes parts of Essex, the state’s third-most populous county, as well as some of Somerset, Morris, Union and Warren counties – and all of Hunterdon.
With 30% of the vote counted Tuesday night, Malinowski was winning with 72,838 votes compared to Kean’s 54,957.
Malinowski’s seat was previously held by a Republican, making him a target for the party hoping to regain ground in the House.
His race took a decidedly dark turn in September when Kean’s supporters aired advertisements falsely claiming he lobbied against a national sex offender registry to help predators “hide in the shadows.”
Malinowski vehemently denied the claim linked to his work as a lobbyist for Human Rights Watch. He worked on foreign policy issues at the nongovernmental agency, he said, not domestic legislation.