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State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak (R-Middle). (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe)

Andrzejczak staying out of second district House race

‘I’m out of politics,’ former state senator says

By Nikita Biryukov, September 08 2020 11:00 am

Former State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak (D-Middle) is steering clear of his former running mate’s House re-election bid.

Andrzejczak on Tuesday declined to endorse a candidate in New Jersey’s second congressional district, where Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) is fielding a challenge from Amy Kennedy, a member of one of the country’s foremost political families.

“I don’t know how beneficial it would be for anybody to have anything come from me,” he said. “Honestly, I’m out of politics. I’m not even trying to be in any kind of paper or article or anything.”

Van Drew, then a state senator, was elected to Congress in 2018 as a Democrat but defected to the Republican party after his opposition to impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump soured his support among rank-and-file Democrats.

Andrzejczak was appointed to fill Van Drew’s seat in the statehouse’s upper chamber. Before that, he was a Democratic Assemblyman, recruited by Van Drew, representing the right-leaning first legislative district.

Those seats were held by the party almost entirely on the basis of Van Drew’s personal brand, and Andrzejczak and his running mates continued to run as “The Van Drew Team” after the longtime Democrat left for Congress.

But with Van Drew’s name off the 2019 ballot, Andrzejczak and his runningmates, Assemblymen Bruce Land (D-Vineland) and Matt Milam (D-Vineland), who was appointed to fill Andrzejczak’s Assembly seat, became the only incumbent Democrats to lose re-election.

Days before last year’s election, Andrzejczak declined to endorse anyone in what was then a wide field of Democratic presidential candidates. He declined to rule out voting to re-elect Trump, a move that caused some last-minute backlash from progressives in the district.

A previous version of this story said Andrzejczak declined to make an endorsement on Thursday. He did so on Tuesday.

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