Home>Campaigns>Healey digital ad wades into debate over sex ed, trans issues

A new digital ad from the Bob Healey campaign attacks Rep. Andy Kim on sex ed issues. (Photo: Bob Healey Jr. for Congress via YouTube).

Healey digital ad wades into debate over sex ed, trans issues

Ad says Kim has an ‘extreme back-to-school agenda’

By Joey Fox, September 06 2022 11:14 am

Bob Healey Jr., the Republican nominee for New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district, released a new digital ad and accompanying website today slamming his Democratic opponent, Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), on the issues of sex education and transgender kids in sports.

Script: (Female narrator): With school starting back, New Jersey parents need to know their kids are in the right hands. Democrat Andy Kim has an extreme back-to-school agenda: pushing radical sex ed curriculum, boys playing against girls in sports, and parents ignored and replaced. Andy Kim is wrong for our kids, and he’s wrong for New Jersey.

Republican Bob Healey will fight for our kids. He’ll promote school choice, support parental rights, and prepare our kids for the future. Bob Healey isn’t a career politician. He’s a business owner who will stand up for New Jersey families. This November, the choice is clear. Vote Bob Healey for Congress.

Asked how much it was spending on distributing the ad, the Healey campaign said only that it represents a “significant digital buy.”

Healey said in a statement that the ad is meant to highlight the discrepancy between Kim’s moderate rhetoric and his liberal actions, such as joining the Congressional Progressive Caucus and founding the “far-left” organization Rise Stronger.

“Andy Kim is a slick, professional politician who talks like a moderate back home, but whose actions prove he is anything but,” Healey said. “Congressman Kim is wildly out-of-step with mainstream Democrats, independents, and Republicans in Burlington, Monmouth, and Mercer Counties and people need to know about it before they vote.”

Healey is regarded as the underdog against Kim in the redrawn 3rd district, which was made significantly more Democratic under the state’s new congressional map. When Kim beat Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) in 2018 and won again in 2020, he did so in a Republican-leaning district; his new district, on the other hand, went for Joe Biden by 14 points.

Today’s new ad is an indication that Healey, a favorite of national Republicans who has self-funded much of his campaign, sees sex ed as a potential opening against Kim.

New Jersey Republicans have excoriated the state’s educational curricula for months over the inclusion of what they deem to be inappropriate material on sex and gender identity, a state-level debate that has started to bleed over into federal races. There’s been limited state polling of the issue, though, so it’s tough to know whether the Republican message has broken through. 

As for the issue of transgender kids in athletics, many states around the country have moved to require kids to play sports with the sex assigned to them at birth, but similar proposals in New Jersey have barely made a dent. Democrats and LGBTQ groups have consistently condemned such proposals as transphobic, a criticism Healey seemed to anticipate.

“I am sure that Congressman Kim’s rebuttal to this will be to somehow attack me as discriminating against LGBT citizens, which is patently false,” Healey said. “I support gay marriage and equality across the board, but I also support common sense and actual science.”

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