Amy Kennedy will run for Congress

Former teacher and current mental health advocate Amy Kennedy, of Brigantine, has announced she is running in the Democratic primary to challenge Congressman Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, after his party switch to Republican. She said the public health crisis of addiction would be among her top priorities.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, got key endorsements from county and local GOP leaders this past week, along with new committee assignments in Congress.

Meanwhile, his three Republican primary opponents remain in the race, and his Democratic opponents are ramping up their campaigns.

Harrison welcomes battleground status

Democratic challengers to Van Drew also got some good news: The 2nd District was added to the Democratic Congressional Caucus Committee’s list of “offensive battlegrounds” for extra attention and spending by the national group.

Longport’s Brigid Harrison, the first to announce she would run against Van Drew in 2020, said Friday that means whoever wins the Democratic primary will have the funding and support “to combat Van Drew, even with all the resources that come with his presidential backing.”

Amy Kennedy hires former Van Drew campaign manager

Democratic primary challenger Amy Kennedy, of Brigantine, announced her campaign hired Van Drew’s former manager, Joshua Roesch, to run her campaign. Roesch resigned after Van Drew switched from Democrat to Republican.

Van Drew said Roesch had only been on his re-election team for about a week, and he wished him the best.

Latest Van Drew endorsements

Salem County Republican Chairwoman Linda DuBois on Friday joined county leaders in Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties and local leaders in Galloway Township in endorsing Van Drew for re-election.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, the only other Republican in New Jersey’s congressional delegation, also endorsed Van Drew last week.

Van Drew became a Republican last month, after announcing his party change in the Oval Office next to President Donald Trump, and after voting against Trump’s impeachment. Trump will hold a rally with Van Drew on Jan. 28 in Wildwood.

“Congressman Van Drew has a deep understanding of the issues facing South Jersey, particularly when it comes to the needs of our agricultural community,” said DuBois.

New committee assignments

Van Drew was appointed this past week to the Homeland Security Committee, which oversees the Department of Homeland Security and all the agencies under it, including the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard’s only training center is in Cape May, in Van Drew’s district.

He also was appointed to the Education and Labor Committee, which oversees all federal education initiatives from preschool to continuing education, and all labor issues from pensions to job training.

RICHTER proposes Constitutional amendments

Republican primary challenger David Richter, who recently moved to Avalon from Princeton, said Friday that, if elected, he will introduce three proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution to fix what he called a “broken Congress.”

The three include a Balanced Budget Amendment, requiring a balanced federal budget except in times of war; a Line-Item Veto Amendment to give the president the right to strike spending items from the federal budget passed by Congress; and a Term-Limit Amendment, to prohibit members from serving more than 12 consecutive years in the same house of Congress.

“The biggest challenge to the long-term success of our country is our huge national debt, now more than $23 trillion and growing by an additional $1 trillion every year,” said Richter, former CEO of global construction management firm Hill International.

Patterson focuses on Democratic contributions to Van Drew

Republican primary challenger Bob Patterson, who recently moved to Ocean City from Haddonfield, Camden County, said Van Drew should not have accepted funds from liberal contributors during his time as a Democrat if he was opposed to impeachment.

“No pro-Trump Republican would ever take money from liberals like Adam Schiff, Cory Booker and Steny Hoyer,” said Patterson. “South Jersey Republicans deserve to know what kind of Republican Van Drew wants to be. We deserve an answer: Will Switcheroo Van Drew return the liberal money bankrolling his campaign?”

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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