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Jerry Savell, accompanied by his daughter, Amy, takes the oath of office as a councilman in Absecon. Photo courtesy of the Savell family.

Kennedy, Harrison comes from political families

By David Wildstein, March 08 2020 6:34 pm

The two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd district grew up in political families.

Amy Kennedy’s father is Jerry Savell, who served as an Atlantic County freeholder and was a councilman in Absecon and Pleasantville.

Brigid Harrison’s father was John P. Callahan, who served as a councilman in Runnemede.

Harrison became involved in local Democratic politics at an early age, served as secretary of the Atlantic County Democratic organization, and ran a close race for freeholder in the 1990s.

Her late husband, Kenneth Harrison, was a college professor and union leader who served two terms on the Egg Harbor City Council and was the 1991 Democratic candidate for Atlantic County Executive.

Kennedy is married to Patrick J. Kennedy, a former seven-term congressman from Rhode Island who served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) in 1999 and 2000.

Patrick is the son of former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy and former Attorney General and New York U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and the brother of Connecticut State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr.  His grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.  Both of his great-grandfathers held public office: P.J. Kennedy served in the Massachusetts State Senate in the late 19th century, while John F. Fitzgerald was a congressman and a two-term mayor of Boston.

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