Tom Malinowski caused inflation. Tom Kean Jr. can fix it.
That’s the message Kean, the former Republican leader of the State Senate, has been hammering for months against Malinowski, a two-term Democratic representative and New Jersey’s most vulnerable incumbent this cycle. And it’s a message Kean hit on again at a get-out-the-vote rally today in Belvidere with GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and other Republican leaders.
“[Malinowski]’s someone who’s not listening to his constituents, and he’s not feeling your pain,” Kean said to a crowd of Republican Party faithful. “I will break the back of inflation. I will cut government spending.”
McDaniel, who has criss-crossed the country in support of Republican candidates – she was in the western suburbs of Philadelphia just this morning – charged that Democrats have failed to deliver on their promises to America.
“They can’t run on anything,” McDaniel said. “They have no accomplishments. They have failed our country, miserably. The only way we can stop it is to return common sense to Washington, and that’s by electing Tom Kean as your congressman.”
The race between Kean and Malinowski for the 7th congressional district is among the most important in the country, a fact acknowledged by McDaniel. If Republicans do indeed gain the five seats they need to flip the House, there’s a strong chance the 7th district will be among them.
“You guys, it’s five seats: five seats to retire Nancy Pelosi,” McDaniel said. “[Kean] is one step closer to taking back the House and restoring sanity in our country.”
Malinowski and Kean previously faced each other in 2020, a contest Malinowski won by just one percentage point, making it by far the closest congressional race in New Jersey. Since then, Malinowski’s fortunes have dimmed thanks both to an ongoing House Ethics Committee inquiry into his stock trading and to the new lines of the 7th district, which drop some deep-blue suburbs and pick up more rural parts of northwestern New Jersey instead.
One of the towns that was added, in fact, was Belvidere, which will likely be an asset to Kean; the riverside town, like most of Warren County, votes staunchly Republican.
Still, despite becoming redder than before, the district is no conservative bastion, and Joe Biden would have carried it by around four points. That could mean the presence of national Republican figures pose some risk for Kean, who has his own longstanding moderate brand in New Jersey politics.
But Kean said after today’s rally that he welcomes all comers, and that he stands with the GOP on the issues that he’s made the centerpiece of his campaign.
“The more people are helping, the better it is – always,” Kean said. “We all support equality of opportunity, making the country more affordable, securing the southern border, making us energy independent… These are the priorities the people in this area are concerned about.”