The announcement that State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) will switch parties removes one major contender from the field of potential Republican challengers to Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton).
Addiego had been viewed as a strong candidate against Kim when the newly-elected congressman seeks re-election in 2020.
Earlier today, Addiego refused to rule out a bid for the Republican congressional nomination in the Burlington-Ocean district.
Kim, a former Obama White House staffer, unseated two-term Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) by 3,973 votes, 50%-49%, in the 2018 mid-term election.
If Republicans want to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, they will need to compete in places like New Jersey’s 3rd district. There are 12,418 more Democrats than Republicans in Kim’s district.
The indictment of Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore could dampen Republicans hope of beating Kim. Gilmore is the key player in recruiting a top-tier challenger to Kim, but his legal issues might scare off potential candidates — and donors.
To beat Kim, Republicans need to deliver a huge voter turnout in Ocean County. The district is 58% Burlington County and 42% Ocean County. In 2018, Burlington cast 59% of the votes in the race for Congress.
Kim won Burlington by 34,630 votes (59.5%-39.9%), while MacArthur carried Ocean by 30,657 votes (60.9%-37%).