Home>Articles>Kean primary challenger has $2,700 cash, $4,059 debt

Tom Phillips, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in the seventh district of New Jersey

Kean primary challenger has $2,700 cash, $4,059 debt

By David Wildstein, April 15 2020 8:37 pm

Tom Phillips has $2,700 in the bank and $4,059 in debt in his uphill battle to capture the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th district.

Phillips, a human resources executive from Scotch Plains who lives in the next-door 12th district, raised $760 since January 1 and $11,453 in total since entering the race to challenge freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) last year.

He has loaned his campaign $1,000.

The almost certain GOP nominee against Malinowski is Thomas Kean, Jr., the minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate.

Kean had his third strong fundraising quarter and has now raised $1,749,905.  He’s got $1,138,477 in his campaign warchest and organization lines in Essex, Hunterdon, Somerset and Union counties.

Also in the race is Raafat Barsoom, a physician who won 11% of the vote against Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in the 2018 GOP primary and 17% as the GOP State Senate candidate in the 29th district against Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark).

The path to the Republican nomination became easier for Kean in January when Rosemary Becchi, a former U.S. Senate Finance Committee tax counsel, switched to the 11th district.

Malinowski raised $938,636 in the first three months of the year and has $2,671,618 cash-on-hand as he seeks re-election to a second term

Malinowski, a former assistant U.S. Secretary of State, beat five-term incumbent Leonard Lance by 16,200 votes, 52%-47%, becoming the first Democrat to win the 7th district seat since 1956.

He has raised $3,327,860 since taking office fifteen months ago

As a first-time candidate, Malinowski raised nearly $6.3 million – more than double what Lance raised.  Those totals do not include independent expenditures made for or against either candidate, or spending made by candidates’ political action committees.

During his first year in Congress, Malinowski raised almost $2.4 million and closed the year with a strong $615,000 4th quarter.  He had more than $2 million in his warchest and has not yet released his 1st quarter report to the Federal Election Commission.

Voter registration in New Jersey’s 7th district has now flipped to a Democratic majority.   As of last month, the 7th had 382 more Democrats than Republicans.  When it was drawn in 2012, the 7th had 29,997 more Republicans than Democrats. On General Election Day 2018, the GOP registration edge had shrunk to 6,709.

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