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

National Dems putting $600k behind Malinowski

By David Wildstein, November 01 2022 1:12 pm

Democrats are investing $600,000 over the last week in a bid to keep New Jersey’s 7th district in the hand of Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), his campaign confirmed today.

The two-term congressman is locked in a tough re-election campaign against Republican Thomas Kean, Jr., the former minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate and the son of a popular former governor.

The infusion of cash is coming from the House Majority PAC, which is tied to the Democratic leadership, and from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and includes some funds that have already been announced.

The House Majority PAC has set aside about $250,000 for network TV ads in the New York market.

The DCCC today revealed a final round of Democratic candidates who “need immediate resources,” according to POLITICO congressional reporter Sarah Ferris.    The list includes four incumbents on the DCCC Red Alert Priorities list and five GOP seats they are trying to flip, but Malinowski was not on the list.

Some of the money will be used for a hybrid ad that the Malinowski campaign will release today.

The Malinowski vs. Kean contest is a rematch of a 2020 race where Democrats held the seat by one percentage point.  The 7th district became more favorable to Republicans in redistricting.

Republican groups have spent heavily to press Kean’s advantage.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, which is tied to House Republican leaders, has spent $3.6 million attacking Malinowski so far, and the National Republican Congressional Committee has joined in with another $691,000.

Ads from the two PACs hit Malinowski on a variety of topics, including taxes, government spending, and a House Ethics Committee inquiry into Malinowski’s stock trading.

Top Democratic groups, on the other hand, have spent relatively little to defend the congressman.  The HMP has spent $794,000 attacking Kean, primarily on abortion, and the DCCC said last week that it would spend $100,000 on a coordinated ad buy with Malinowski. (This latter expenditure is recent enough that it is not yet included in outside trackers’ calculations.)

Two other groups – the Moderate Party Independent Fund (a Democratic front organization) and Service Employees International Union Local 1199 – have also spent $160,000 and $121,000, respectively, to boost Malinowski and slam Kean.

Malinowski is a strong fundraiser, so he’s been able to offset Kean’s outside money advantage with his own spending; he’s spent nearly $5 million this cycle to Kean’s $2.6 million. But the relative lack of support he’s gotten from outside Democratic groups is an indication that many Democrats are pessimistic about their chances to hold the 7th district.

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