An NFL coach who also served three terms as mayor of a New Jersey refused to rule out a challenge to Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) in New Jersey’s 3rd district in 2022, saying he wants to help Republicans regain the House seat next year.
Randy Brown, the former three-term mayor of Evesham, has spent fourteen years as a special teams coach with the Baltimore Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I’m a full-time coach in the NFL. I absolutely love my job,” Brown told the New Jersey Globe in a telephone interview. “We’ll see what the future holds.”
Still, he said ousting Kim is a priority for him.
“Our congressman pulls the levels of the left,” Brown said. “We just have to get a fabulous candidate. This seat could be one of the flip seats.”
The 53-year-old Brown joined the Ravens staff in 2008 after two seasons as a coach for the Eagles. He is a key member of Head Coach John Harbough’s inner circle.
In an inauguration day Facebook post, Brown hinted that he might be interested in running for office again.
He called himself a “proud Trump supporter” who touted his own conservative views, including free and fair elections, respect for the First Amendment, and law and order, but acknowledged that Joe Biden was the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
“I pray that President Biden and our US Senate and US House just kick ass and succeed greatly! We all win because we are all Americans and I for one am not rooting for our country to fail,” Brown said. “That’s not to say I’m not gonna fight like hell and support our Republican candidates in the 2022 elections, especially if I’m on the ballot.”
“Some would call me a troublemaker,” Brown said. “I don’t really care what anyone thinks.”
If Brown runs, it could be the second time in twelve years that the GOP turned to the NFL to recruit a South Jersey congressional candidate.
In 2010, former Eagles star Jon Runyan ousted freshman Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) in Barack Obama’s mid-term election.
He said he understands the work involved in raising money for a congressional bid, especially against a prodigious, Gottheimeresque fundraiser like Kim.
“I’ve been down this running for Congress road before, so I understand the commitment involved,” said Brown, who mulled a House bid when Runyan announced that would not seek a third term in 2014.
Brown flirted with seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2017 but opted out of the race just as party leaders were beginning to award organization lines for the GOP primary.
He left office in 2018 after deciding after the Republican primary to drop his re-election bid, but he’s remained vocal on national political issues.
Brown has called for the reopening of public schools – “Stop the lockdowns. Hint: the don’t work.” – and bashed Gov. Phil Murphy for vote-by-mail elections.
“As we are all aware NJ has been a hotbed for mail in ballot fraud,” Brown wrote on his Facebook page in praise of a column from the Star-Ledger’s Paul Mulshine.
Even if he doesn’t run, Brown said he will play a role in helping Republicans beat Kim.
“I want to be part of the solution for 2022,” he said. “When you’ve got a race that’s winnable, it’s all hands on deck.”
Kim, a former Obama White House staffer, beat Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) by a narrow 3,973 votes, 50%-49%.
The GOP put MacArthur at the top of their early target list, but a divisive 2020 primary slowed their chances of regaining the seat. Kim defeated Republican businessman David Richter by 33,513 votes, 53%-45%.
The district is one of the most politically competitive in the state, although it’s not clear what NJ-3 will look like after redistricting redraws the congressional map in advance of the 2022 Biden mid-terms.
Evesham, now controlled by Democrats, gave Kim 60% and Biden 57% in 2020. Brown was re-elected mayor in 2014 with 62%.
Editor’s Note: an earlier version of this story improperly attributed a quote to Brown on Facebook that was a comment from another individual.