Home>Campaigns>Pallone beats Kiley in 6th congressional district

Rep. Frank Pallone following a press conference in New Brunswick. (Photo: Joey Fox for the New Jersey Globe).

Pallone beats Kiley in 6th congressional district

Race for House – and Pallone’s committee chairmanship – still undecided

By Joey Fox, November 08 2022 10:06 pm

The New Jersey Globe projects that Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) has won re-election, defeating Republican Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley in the 6th congressional district.

As of 10:06 p.m. and with an estimated 50% of the vote reported, Pallone leads Kiley by a margin of 60%-39%, though that may change substantially as more votes are counted.

Pallone is the longest-serving Democrat in the New Jersey congressional delegation, representing parts of the Jersey Shore since 1988. His district, which currently covers coastal Monmouth County and suburbs in Middlesex County, leans strongly Democratic, voting for Joe Biden by 20 points and for Gov. Phil Murphy by seven.

Pallone will now enter his 18th congressional term as the 6th-most senior member of the House (or perhaps 5th-most, depending on the results of a race in Ohio). Since 2018, Pallone has also been the chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, making him the only House member from New Jersey to chair a standing committee.

It’s not clear yet whether Democrats will lose the House this year; if they do, Pallone will have to depart his chairmanship.

When Kiley announced her bid to challenge Pallone at the beginning of this year, it looked like she might be able to force the congressman into a real race for the first time in decades. After all, Kiley has won countywide in Monmouth twice before, and Republicans seemed to be ascendant throughout the year in other blue House districts across the country.

To face Pallone at all, Kiley had to get past 2020 U.S. Senate nominee Rik Mehta in the Republican primary; she won by a breezy 57%-27% margin.

But in the general election, Kiley struggled to fundraise or put the race on national radars. With donors’ attention focused on other close New Jersey races, Kiley only spent a little over $200,000, allowing her to get washed out by Pallone’s $2.7 million.

In a district that already favors Democrats by a fair bit, Kiley needed some sort of surprise to make the race competitive, and she didn’t get it.

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