Democratic congressional candidate Amy Kennedy, of Brigantine, released a new TV ad and mobile billboard on the day of President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Wildwood.

Meanwhile, another Democratic contender, Brigid Harrison, of Longport, announced she has been endorsed by AFT New Jersey’s Delegate Assembly, as well as a host of state Democratic leaders. State Senator Dawn Marie Addiego, D-Atlantic, Burlington, Camden; Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro, D-Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem; and Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joe Derella all endorsed Harrison on Wednesday.

AFTNJ is the largest higher education union in the state, and its affiliated 19 union locals represent PreK-12 teachers and school staff across New Jersey, according to Harrison’s campaign. Harrison is a professor of political science and law at Montclair State University in Essex County.

Kennedy said in a news release she is proud to release her second ad of the campaign “the morning of Donald Trump coming to my district to pay back Jeff Van Drew for switching parties.”

“Part of the reason I’m running for Congress is because in one press conference Jeff Van Drew became a shameless apologist for Donald Trump,” said Kennedy, a former teacher and the wife of former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy. “And he abandoned the voters he was elected to serve by pledging his undying support to a politician instead of to the people.”

The 30-second ad, called “Who I Am,” ran Tuesday on cable stations in New Jersey, according to the campaign. It also ran Tuesday morning on “Fox and Friends.”

The mobile billboard traveled near the Wildwood rally, and featured an image of Van Drew and Trump with the label, “Jeff Van Trump,” the campaign said.

The TV ad shows Van Drew pledging Trump his “undying support” in the Oval Office news conference in which he announced his party switch last month.

“I believe that this is just a better fit for me. This is who I am. It’s who I’ve always been,” Van Drew said during the news conference.

Then the ad shows Kennedy saying, “I’m Amy Kennedy. I’m a lifelong Democrat. That’s who I am, and it’s who I’ve always been.”

Harrison has taught at Montclair since 1994 and is the author of the McGraw-Hill textbook “American Democracy Now.”

If elected, Harrison would be the first woman ever to represent a South Jersey district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“It is not often we have the opportunity to support someone who not only talks the talk but walks the walk,” said Donna M. Chiera, AFTNJ president.

“Brigid is a true educator who has dedicated her professional and personal life to lifting the voice of students and community members through civic engagement. Brigid stands where our members stand on key issues such as lifting the terrible burden of student loan debt, fighting for affordable health care, and investing in our schools and our infrastructure.”

Council of NJ State Colleges President Tim Haresign said, “Brigid is a longtime activist member of the College Council. She has spent years advocating for working people, and now our members are excited about working to put her in a position to help working people at the national level.”

Kennedy, Harrison and other Democrats will be outside the rally at Wildwoods Convention Center for speeches and protests.

Joining Kennedy for the day is Martin Luther King III, a civil rights activist and the oldest son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. King is a former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a former county commission member in Atlanta.

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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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