Home>Campaigns>Van Drew, Alexander win sleepy primary contests in 2nd district

Rep. Jeff Van Drew. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Van Drew, Alexander win sleepy primary contests in 2nd district

Van Drew beats Barker and Pignatelli, Alexander defeats Rush

By Joey Fox, June 07 2022 9:42 pm

The New Jersey Globe projects that Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) and Democratic challenger Tim Alexander have won their respective primary elections in the 2nd congressional district, setting them up for a general election contest in which Van Drew is strongly favored.

Van Drew, a former Democrat who switched parties in 2019, might have seemed ripe for a primary challenge, given his past embrace of Democratic politicians like Senator Cory Booker. But the congressman easily dispatched a Republican primary opponent in 2020, and his two challengers this time, John Barker and Sean Pignatelli, never stood much of a chance.

Alexander, meanwhile, received every Democratic county line and was seen as the clear favorite for the nomination once his main prospective opponent, Hector Tavarez, dropped out. The lone candidate who did stay in the race was Carolyn Rush, who didn’t get anything close to the institutional support Alexander had.

A former Democratic state senator, Van Drew flipped the 2nd district blue in 2018, only to become the focus of national Democratic ire when he defected to the Republican Party less than a year after he was sworn in.

Democrat Amy Kennedy ran a well-funded campaign to unseat Van Drew in 2020, but she lost 52-46%. This year, Alexander is running in a worse political environment, with far less money at his disposal, and in a district that was redrawn to be slightly more Republican; the chances that he will be able to do what Kennedy could not are slim.

Spread the news: