Putting up some colossal fundraising numbers, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) raised just over $900,000 during the fourth quarter of 2021 and has over $2.7 million cash-on-hand for his re-election campaign in New Jersey’s 7th district.
Malinowski raised more than $3.6 million last year as he prepares to seek his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives in a newly-drawn district that is more favorable to Republicans than the old one.
He raised $7.4 million for his 2020 campaign but depleted nearly all of it to defend his seat in a hugely competitive congressional district, where he defeated Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. by just one percent, the narrowest margin of any Democratic incumbent in the nation in a district that has shifted blue over the last decade.
But he has quickly replenished his warchest, raising $923,020 in the three months of 2021 $816,320 in the second quarter of this year, and $872,830 during the third quarter.
The current 7th district, which includes parts of Union, Somerset, Essex, Warren, Morris and all of Hunterdon, was drawn to elect a Republican congressman. But in the 2018 wave election during President Donald Trump’s mid-terms, Malinowski ousted five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township).
In 2020, Kean came nearly Malinowski in a race that saw the incumbent’s lead narrow from 28,412 on election night to 5,311, 50.6%-49.4% – a race that was not decided for two weeks.
Kean raised $648,010 during his first three months as a 2022 candidate and has not yet revealed his fourth quarter haul.
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Franklin) said this week that he intends to run, and Rev. Phil Rizzo is considering a switch from the 11th to the 7th. Also in the race: businessman John Henry Isemann and 2020 U.S. Senate candidate Rik Mehta. Rizzo, Isemann and Mehta have not yet reported their fourth quarter fundraising.
Malinowski’s new 7th district will pick up all of Warren County, and Mendham Borough and part of Mendham Township in Morris. Scotch Plains, which had been split with the 12th, would sit entirely in the 7th, along with the addition of Fanwood and Rahway and part of Linden. Bridgewater and Hillsborough would be split between the 7th and 12th districts. The 7th adds nine towns in Sussex: Andover Township, Byram, Fredon, Green, Hopatcong, Ogdensburg, Sparta, Stillwater and Walpack. Millburn in Essex and Dover in Morris would shift to the 11th, Cranford, Garwood, Kenilworth and the entirety of Union Township in Union would go in the 10th, and Montgomery, North Plainfield, Rocky Hill in Somerset would go to the 12th.
Malinowski gets a more difficult, but not unwinnable, district by taking in all of Warren County and parts of Sussex County while losing Democratic towns in the east like Millburn. The new map’s 7th district is Biden +4, compared to Biden +10 currently.
Republican Jack Ciattarelli won the new 7th by thirteen points over Gov. Phil Murphy