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Democratic candidate Will Cunningham answers questions about his policies during an open forum of candidates at the old Cape May Court House building March 4.

The Democracy for America political action committee has endorsed Will Cunningham, of Vineland, in the Democratic primary for New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District race.

The winner of July 7’s primary will run against U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-2nd, who switched parties to Republican in December after one year in Congress.

“Democracy for America is excited to endorse William Cunningham ... because he’ll be a massive improvement over Van Drew who’ll fight for bold, progressive reforms like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, voting rights and criminal justice reform,” Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson said in a statement.

“Also, as a member of the LGBTQ community whose family struggled with homelessness and a former congressional staffer, the lived and professional experience William Cunningham will bring with him to Congress is critically needed,” Simpson said.

Cunningham grew up poor in Vineland and his family was homeless for part of his high school career, he has said. He focused on his studies and graduated from Brown University and the University of Texas at Austin Law School.

Cunningham has worked as a policy staffer for Sen. Cory Booker and served as a chief investigator for the late Elijah Cummings on the House Oversight Committee.

“As the real progressive in my race, it means the world to me to have the backing of an organization driven by the vision of progressive pioneer Howard Dean,” Cunningham said. “Congress must better reflect the American populace, and I am grateful that Democracy for America values diversity in supporting the next generation of leaders. Together, we will win this race and restore this seat to the people Van Drew stole it from.”

Democracy for America has 2,484 members in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, 39,377 in New Jersey and more than 1 million nationwide, the organization said.

Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

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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