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Rep. Andy Kim. Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Gilmore indictment helps Kim re-election prospects

Could cause delay in recruiting challenger to freshman congressman

By David Wildstein, January 11 2019 1:53 am

The indictment of Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore could dampen Republicans hope of taking back a congressional seat in New Jersey’s 3rd district.

Democrat Andy Kim (D-Marlton) unseated two-term Republican Tom MacArthur by just 3,973 votes in the 2018 midterm election and will be one of the top targets of national Republicans as they seek to take back their majority next year.

Gilmore is the key player in recruiting a top-tier challenger to Kim, but his legal issues might scare off potential candidates — and donors.  

Kim, a former Obama White House staffer, began running in 2017 and raised $6.2 million.  MacArthur, who self-funded his first race, raised $4.8 million last year.

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%).

If Gilmore loses focus on taking back the House seat, Kim’s chances of winning re-election to a second term increase increase considerably.

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