Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy has raised more than $2.24 million in the 3rd quarter, a huge fundraising haul as she seeks to oust party-switching Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in New Jersey’s 2nd district.
Kennedy’s Q3 numbers include about $130,000 rolled in from her primary campaign.
The New Jersey Globe has learned that Kennedy’s fundraising success is straight dollars raised and does not include any personal contributions to her House campaign.
“These numbers clearly show what Amy has been hearing as she travels across the district. The people of South Jersey are ready for a representative in Congress that cares more about serving the community than their own political career,” said Josh Roesch, Kennedy’s campaign manager. “South Jersey was struggling before COVID-19 and now we are in a full-blown crisis. Amy will fight every day for the people of South Jersey to ensure that we have access to affordable healthcare and an economic recovery that puts the middle class and small businesses first.”
The campaign said they have received 22,844 total contributions from 14,750 donors, including 20,276 contributions of less than $100.
Of that total, 42% came from New Jersey donors and 35% of the New Jersey contributions came from 2nd district residents.
A $2 million third quarter puts Kennedy at the same level as several incumbents seeking re-election in politically competitive districts.
Internal and independent polls reviewed by the NJ Globe have shown a tight race to oust Van Drew, a 30-year officeholder who won election to Congress in 2018 as a Democrat and then switched parties late last year after refusing to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
A Kennedy internal poll showed her with a five-point lead, 49%-44% in a survey that was in the field from September 14-17.
The House Majority PAC, which is allied with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, released a poll on September 22 that shows Kennedy with a 48%-43% lead against Van Drew, and Joe Biden running four points ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-46%, in NJ-2.
It’s not immediately clear what Van Drew has raised since he won the Republican primary. His nationally televised speech at the Republican National Convention ought to have given him a bump in fundraising.
Van Drew spent seventeen years in the New Jersey Legislature before winning a congressional seat by a 53%-45% margin in 2018 against Republican Seth Grossman, a former Atlantic County Freeholder.
Trump endorsed Van Drew after his party switch and local Republicans quickly followed. He won 82% of the vote in his first GOP primary.
Kennedy, the wife of former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-Rhode Island), won a landslide victory in the Democratic primary. She won a 62%-22% margin against her closest competitor in a five-candidate field.
The 2nd district 19,535 more Democrats than Republicans.
The district was represented by Republican Frank LoBiondo (R-Ocean City) for 24 years before his retirement in 2018. Democrats held the seat from 1975 to 1995.
This story was updated at 12:56 PM.