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Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes). Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Malinowski scores humungous fundraising haul in NJ-7 re-election bid

Democratic congressman has $4.2 million cash-on-hand

By David Wildstein, July 06 2022 3:50 pm

Facing a hugely competitive campaign to win a third term, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) has a mammoth $4.2 million warchest after raising a more than $1.28 million for the second quarter of 2022.

That puts Malinowski in a strong cash position or a rematch with Republican Tom Kean, Jr., the former Senate Minority Leader, in New Jersey’s 7th district.

Malinowski has had six consecutive massive fundraising quarters since his 2020 re-election campaign,  raising about $6.4 million this cycle.  His cash-on-hand has ballooned from $2.7 million as of the end of last year.

He raised $7.4 million for re-election bid two years ago but exhausted nearly all of it to hold his seat against Kean.  He won by just one percent, the narrowest margin of any Democratic incumbent in the nation in a district that has shifted blue over the last decade.

Under a Democratic map approved last December, Malinowski’s district has become more Republican, albeit not unwinnable.  The new map’s 7th district is Biden +4, compared to Biden +10 currently.  Republican Jack Ciattarelli won the new 7th by thirteen points over Gov. Phil Murphy.

Kean won the June Republican primary with 46% of the vote in a seven-candidate field, outdistancing his nearest competitor by 11,625 votes.  Kean has not announced his own second quarter fundraising numbers, but his May 26 pre-primary filing  showed $1.2 million cash-on-hand after raising $2.24 million since entering the race in July 2021.

Malinowski faced a pro-Trump Democrat, perennial candidate Roger Bacon, in the Democratic primary and won 94% of the vote.

Democrats think recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings overturning Roe v. Wade and expanding the rights of gun owners might help Malinowski excite some centrist voters who might otherwise not have backed a congressional ally of President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The current 7th district, which includes parts of Union, Somerset, Essex, Warren, Morris and all of Hunterdon, was drawn to elect a Republican congressman.  But in the 2018 wave election during President Donald Trump’s mid-terms, Malinowski ousted five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township).

The district now has 18,170 more Republicans than Democrats since the primary, up 1,397 Republicans in the newly-drawn district.   GOP registration is up by 4,289, while the number of Democrats increased by 2,892.

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