Harrison concedes to Kennedy in race to challenge party switcher Van Drew in U.S. House

Political analyst Brigid Harrison conceded on Tuesday to former schoolteacher Amy Kennedy in the New Jersey Democratic primary contest to take on U.S. Representative Jeff Van Drew, who had switched parties to become a Republican, in the November election. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to Rep. Jeff Van Drew at a campaign rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, U.S. January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File PhotoKennedy, who is married to former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, a member of the storied political dynasty, led a crowded field of candidates including Harrison in early results from New Jersey’s 2nd district. Kennedy was expected to make a statement later Tuesday, a campaign spokeswoman said. Van Drew, who outraged New Jersey Democrats and delighted President Donald Trump last year when he switched parties and pledged his “undying support” to the Republican president, appeared to be holding off a challenger Tuesday in preliminary results from the Republican primary. Van Drew was ahead in the Republican race, 81.2% to 18.8% for challenger Robert Patterson, the New York Times reported. That was with 36% of the vote counted. New Jersey and Delaware also cast ballots in presidential primaries Tuesday, although the outcome was not in doubt. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, won the Democratic presidential primary in Delaware, his home state, with 90.3% of the vote, the Associated Press said, with 55% of precincts reporting. Trump won the Republican primary in Delaware with 81% of the vote. Biden also won New Jersey, the AP said, scoring 85.5% of the vote in early returns; Trump was uncontested on the Republican side. Both states’ primaries had been postponed because of the novel coronavirus. Complete results in the congressional primaries may not be known until later this month. As with other states that have encouraged voters to mail ballots instead of voting in person because of the pandemic, delays are likely while officials receive, open and tabulate the votes. Voters in other states, including New York, are still awaiting official results from primaries held last month. In New Jersey’s 2nd District, which includes Atlantic City, Van Drew, 67, won as a Democrat in 2018. He left the party a year later after voting against impeaching Trump in the House of Representatives. All the candidates seethed over Van Drew’s switch. When announcing her candidacy, Kennedy said Trump and Van Drew are “symptoms of a bigger sickness infecting our country and our politics.” Nonpartisan analysts rank the district as leaning Republican. In New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, former construction company executive David Richter, 56, and Kate Gibbs, a 34-year-old former county official, were battling to take on Representative Andy Kim, who flipped the district in 2018’s “blue wave” midterm election. In its 7th Congressional District, three Republicans, including Thomas Kean Jr., whose father was governor of the state, were vying to go up against freshman Democrat Tom Malinowski in the autumn. In the northern 5th District, which Democrat Josh Gottheimer flipped in 2016, a progressive Democrat and neuroscientist, Arati Kreibich, was challenging him in the primary. Another progressive, UBS analyst Hector Oseguera, was running against Democratic Representative Albio Sires in the 8th District. Senator Cory Booker, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, also faced a progressive challenger, Black community activist Lawrence Hamm, who ran Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in New Jersey.

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