Freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) has raised more than $560,000 during his first three months in Congress, a strong first-quarter showing as he prepares to seek re-election to a second term next year.
State Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) announced last month that he has formed an exploratory committee for a possible challenge to Malinowski in a district Republicans had held since 1956.
A former assistant U.S. Secretary of State in the Obama administration, Malinowski unseated five-term incumbent Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) last year by 16,200 votes, 52%-47%., in New Jersey’s 7th district. It was one of four House seats in the state that flipped from Republican to Democrat.
There are 5,066 more Republicans than Democrats in the 7th, which supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election by a 48%-47% margin – a 4,139-vote plurality.
Malinowski outraised Lance in 2018 by more than 2-1, an impressive fundraising performance by a first-time candidate against an incumbent who had held public office for 25 years.
According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Malinowski raised $6,265,579. Lance raised $2,598,607.
Those totals do not include independent expenditures made for or against either candidate, nor do they include spending made by candidates’ political action committees.
Malinowski has secured seats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Rosemary Becchi, a former U.S. Senate Finance Committee staffer, is also mulling a congressional bid. State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Oxford) and Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Franklin) have refused to rule out running.
Political newcomer Tom Phillips is already in the race.
Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton) reported raising roughly the same amount — about $550,000 — during the same time period.