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Montclair State University professor Brigid Callahan Harrison is considering running against Jeff Van Drew.
Montclair State University professor Brigid Callahan Harrison is running against Jeff Van Drew.

Harrison raises $258k

By David Wildstein, April 10 2020 9:00 pm

Political Science professor Brigid Callahan Harrison has raised $258,345 for her bid for the Democratic congressional nomination in New Jersey’s 2nd district.

The 1st quarter campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission is the first in the race to challenge Rep. Jeff Van Drew (Dennis).  Van Drew, who switched parties after refusing to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump and is seeking re-election to a second term as a Republican.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected fundraising for most candidates across the nation running for office at all levels.  COVID-19 essentially shut down political fundraising during the last three weeks of the quarter – a period that is typically the most active.

Harrison has $177,535 cash-on-hand, a relatively low burn-rate for a campaign that didn’t begin until Van Drew announced his party switch late last year.

Her contributors include two assemblywomen — Carol Murphy (D-Mount Laurel) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood) – former Democratic State Chairman Tom Byrne, and several building trades PACs.  She also received $5,000 from Unite Here, the union that represents casino workers hit especially hard by the national health crisis.

Harrison has secured organization endorsements in Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Camden, Salem and Burlington counties.  Amy Kennedy, a former public school teacher and the wife of former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) has the line in Atlantic, and Ocean is holding an open primary.

Three other Democrats are seeking the nomination: former congressional aide Will Cunningham, West Cape May commissioner John Francis III, and retired FBI agent Robert Turkavage.

Van Drew faces a primary challenge from Robert Patterson, a former Trump administration appointee.

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