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Dr. Brigid Callahan Harrison. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Harrison pushes back on comments by Kennedy

NJ-2 candidate: ‘Perhaps in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, Patrick may feel his last name entitles any Kennedy a shot to serve in Congress, but in South Jersey voters have far higher standards’

By David Wildstein, June 04 2020 2:26 pm

Brigid Callahan Harrison says she’s offended comments made by her opponent’s husband that she is beholden to Democratic powerbroker George Norcross.

Former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) told the New Jersey Globe that he contributed $500,000 to a super PAC involved in the 2nd district Democratic primary because he didn’t like the “scurrilous” attacks on his wife, Amy Kennedy, by the South Jersey Democratic machine.

“There’s no way my wife is going to fall victim to that kind of a smear,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy, a former seven-term congressman and the son of Ted Kennedy, said that his wife is able to compete with Harrison, who has the support of six Democratic county organizations, because of the Kennedy name.

Harrison took offense to that.

“My last name has entitled me to nothing, other than doing the best I can for our community,” Harrison said.  “Amy and Patrick’s sense of entitlement runs counter to the values of South Jersey and everyone who has worked hard for what they have.”

The political science professor referenced her own story, working at the Tropicana to pay her way through college and parenting three children while taking care of a terminally-ill husband.

Patrick was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple, and is obviously unfamiliar with the South Jersey work ethic,” Harrison said.  “Perhaps in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, Patrick may feel his last name entitles any Kennedy a shot to serve in Congress, but in South Jersey voters have far higher standards.”

Harrison also took umbrage with the former congressman’s characterization that she was beholden to Norcross.

“So let me be clear, unlike your wife and the campaign you are personally funding, I am beholden to no-one,” she said.  “And once elected to Congress, I will be beholden only to my constituents.”

Amy Kennedy has called on the super PAC, Blue Organizing Project, to stay out of her race for Congress.

Kennedy and Harrison are fighting for the chance to take on party-switching Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in the general election, along with former House Oversight and Reform chief investigator Will Cunningham, West Cape May Commissioner John Francis, and retired FBI agent Robert Turkavage.

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