Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. has raised almost $1 million for his challenge to freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski in New Jersey’s 7th district – strong numbers for a challenger in what may be the state’s most closely watched congressional campaign next year.
Kean raised $430,000 during the 3rd quarter of 2019, with 90% of his donors living in New Jersey and 57% contributing less than $200.
“This campaign has tremendous momentum and I am so grateful for all of the support,” said Kean. “We have over 200 local New Jersey endorsements and the support of Leader Kevin McCarthy and former Speaker Newt Gingrich.”
After entering the race in April, Kean raised $507,462 during the first 2 ½ months of his candidacy.
Kean, 51, is widely considered a top-tier challenger to Malinowski, a former assistant U.S. Secretary of State who ousted five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) last year.
The son of a popular former governor, Kean is a proven vote-getter in his own right. He has won six races for the New Jersey Legislature by wide margins in a district that has become increasingly more Democratic and has been through a tough campaign as a U.S. Senate candidate in 2006. He served in the State Assembly from 2001 to 2003, when he won a State Senate seat. He’s been Minority Leader since 2008.
“I am running for Congress because we want our nation’s future to be bright and secure,” Kean said. “Together, with our supporters we can keep our country on the right path, and New Jersey can lead the way.”
Kean faces a primary challenge from Rosemary Becchi, a former U.S. Senate tax counsel.
Malinowski has not yet announced his 3rd quarter fundraising numbers. He raised $1,172,856 during his first six months as a congressman and had $1,020,918 cash-in-hand at the end of the 2nd quarter.
The 7th district has 3,004 more Republicans than Democrats. Malinowski defeated Lance by a 52%-47% margin in 2018.
Hillary Clinton carried the district by 4,139 votes, 48%-47%, against Donald Trump in 2016. Four years earlier, Mitt Romney win the 7th by 21,033 votes, 53%-47%.