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Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Kim getting comfortable campaigning online

Congressman digitally prepares for tough re-election bid

By Nikita Biryukov, April 30 2020 1:19 pm

Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton) is finding his political groove amid a global pandemic that has all but ended in-person campaigning.

Instead of going door-to-door, a folly at a time when most residents are cloistered in their homes, Kim has directed his volunteers to ask after constituents’ health.

The campaign has 26 volunteers making check-in calls and texts to voters in the third congressional district who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

As of Thursday, the volunteers had made 2,917 calls and sent 9,794 text messages.

Kim’s campaign said their volunteers had reached 28 individuals who needed help securing resources. Healthy voters reached are asked to make three check-ins of their own among their social circles.

“The Andy Kim Campaign has always been more than about just Election Day. It’s about building community in Burlington and Ocean Counties, and our team has worked tirelessly to find creative and innovative ways to bring people together” Kim campaign communications director Andrew Mamo said.

The congressman has also embraced digital events.

Kim recently held a “jam session” during which the congressman played a guitar rendition of “Hey Jude” by The Beatles and an unspecified song on the cello.

In the coming days, the congressman will hold roundtables for veterans and senior citizens. He’ll also host a “bring your pet” virtual happy hour and an event campaign finance reform.

The digital events, Kim’s campaign said, provide more time for direct voter contact than similar events held in-person by eliminating certain organizational hurdles.

“Politics is personal. It’s about building up our communities, supporting them when crises strike, and marshalling our resources to help those who need them most,” Kim said. “While I fight for increased access to testing and sufficient funding for our small businesses, my campaign will continue to focus on reaching out to the people of Burlington and Ocean Counties and helping in any way we can.”

Kim’s race to win his seat in 2018 was the closest congressional contest in New Jersey that year.

Three Republicans, former Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs, former Hill International CEO David Richter and Barnegat Mayor John Novak, are vying for the GOP nod to take on the first-term congressman in November.

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