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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has endorsed Tom Kean, Jr. for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th district.
“Tom is a proven conservative leader in the New Jersey State Senate,” Gingrich said. “He has been a steadfast advocate for ethics reforms, lower taxes, and small business with a strong record of results.”
The Gingrich endorsement will help Kean raise national money in his bid to unseat freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill). He has already raised more than $500,000 for his House bid, according to second quarter reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Kean, the State Senate Minority Leader, faces a primary challenge from Rosemary Becchi, a former U.S. Senate Finance Committee staffer who has positioned herself to the right of Kean. Gingrich’s support could help Kean attract conservative support in the June 2020 GOP primary.
“The Nancy Pelosi majority is stifling American progress,” said Gingrich. “Fortunately, we’ve got a great Republican candidate challenging Congressman Malinowski to help regain Republican control of the House.”
Malinowski, who ousted five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in 2018, is at the top of Republican target lists as they seek a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
There are 3,577 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.
A recent National Republican Congressional Committee poll showed Kean leading Malinowski by two points.
Kean worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to Rep. Bob Franks (R-New Providence) in the 1990s while Gingrich was Speaker.
This is Kean’s second high-profile pre-primary endorsement. He also has the support of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“Speaker Gingrich knows what it takes to build a majority and his endorsement is an enormous boost to our campaign,” said Kean. “I am proud to have his support and look forward to working with him and Leader McCarthy to defeat Tom Malinowski and Nancy Pelosi.”
Malinowski has $1 million cash-on-hand as he prepares to seek re-election.
Republicans held the 7th district House seat for 62 years before Malinowski flipped it in the 2018 mid-term elections.