Congressional candidate Amy Kennedy, of Brigantine, has invited her Democratic primary opponents to a “Serving South Jersey Not Trump” event in or around Wildwood on the day that President Donald J. Trump is to hold a rally with U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, at the Wildwoods Convention Center.

“Now is the time for us to come together and stand united against the Donald Trump/Jeff Van Drew right-wing hate machine,” Kennedy said in an email to the Democratic candidates, who now number at least seven.

She said she looks forward “to an honest, transparent primary that will ensure we all have the chance to make our case to the people of South Jersey.”

Democratic front-runner Brigid Callahan Harrison, of Longport, said she will not attend Kennedy’s event. She will be at a counter-rally with other Democrats instead, she said Wednesday.

Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, both D-Atlantic, endorsed Harrison earlier this week, and she has the support of six of the eight Democratic county chairmen in her district, as well as state Senate President Steve Sweeney and other Democratic leaders.

Kennedy said all of the candidates will have a chance to speak, and the event will include a food drive for people in need.

“Donald Trump announced that he is coming to Wildwood at the end of this month for a rally with Jeff Van Drew, who pledged his undying loyalty to Donald Trump instead of to the people of South Jersey who he was elected to represent,” Kennedy said.

Van Drew switched parties to Republican last month, a day after being one of only two Democrats to vote against both articles of impeachment against the president.

“Now Trump is paying off that backroom deal with one of his patented rallies full of divisiveness and hate, right here in our backyard,” Kennedy said in her email. “I believe people in New Jersey and around this country are sick and tired of backroom deals and leaders who serve themselves instead of their communities. That’s why I am organizing a counter event that shows Donald Trump and Jeff Van Drew what South Jersey is really about — not divisiveness, but unity. Not hurtful and selfish actions, but selfless actions that give back to our community.”

Kennedy has not settled on an exact place and time for the event, but said it will take place in or near Wildwood the morning of Jan. 28.

Contact: 609-272-7219

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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