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Rep. Tom Malinowski. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Malinowski ticket scheduled for municipal court

By David Wildstein, August 31 2020 11:58 pm

(Update: Malinowski’s appearance today has been adjourned and the congressman is expected to pay a fine for a lesser motor vehicle violation.)

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) is scheduled to appear in Hopewell Municipal Court on Tuesday after being ticketed for driving with a suspended license. 

Malinowski was stopped for speeding on August 1, according to a video posted online. 

Municipal court records show that Malinowski had not paid a ticket for a minor traffic violation in December 2019.  That ticket has since been paid.  Aside from some parking tickets, records show that Malinowski is a relatively good driver with no other moving violations on his record.

This might be a right of passage for the freshman congressman in New Jersey’s 7th district: Reps. Bob Franks (R-New Providence) and Mike Ferguson (R-Warren) were both ticketed for driving with a suspended license, and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) had at least one moving violation, court records show.

Court record show that Malinowski’s Republican opponent, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr., is also a good driver with few infractions beyond — like every Westfield resident — several parking tickets in his hometown.

Driving records were an early but significant issue for Republican congressional candidates in the 3rd district primary.

David Richter has been cited for moving violations 24 times since 2004, while Kate Gibbs has received 10 tickets during roughly the same time period.

While Richter may have had twice as many tickets, he also received almost twice as many votes.

Former Gov. Jon Corzine attacked former Gov. Chris Christie over his driving record in 2009, even launching ads that accused the Mendham resident of misusing his authority as a federal prosecutor to avoid charges related to an incident in which the governor collided with a motorcyclist while driving in the wrong direction on a one-way road in Elizabeth.

Christie also had a run-in with a police officer who ticketed him in Lambertville while he was U.S. Attorney.

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