Home>Congress>Van Drew leads in NJ-2, but race too close to call

Congressional candidates from New Jersey's 2nd district: Amy Kennedy, left, and Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis).

Van Drew leads in NJ-2, but race too close to call

By Nikita Biryukov, November 03 2020 10:28 pm

The race in New Jersey’s second congressional district won’t be called tonight, but early results indicate part-switching Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) is favored to defeat Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy.

Van Drew is ahead by 9,563 votes, 52%-48%, over Kennedy, a member of one of America’s most prominent political families.

A former 17-year legislator who won the seat as a Democrat in 2018, Van Drew leads in Cape May by 9,741, Ocean by 4,695, Gloucester by 1,732, Camden by 485, Salem by 2,173, and Burlington by 230.   Kennedy leads in Atlantic by 4,736 and Cumberland by 4,757.

Faced with a choice between eroding support among the district’s Democrats by opposing impeachment proceedings against Trump or alienating moderate Republicans who delivered him a decades-long career in state, county and local office, he chose the former.

His no vote, one of only three cast by Democrats, was a political boon for Trump, who accepted Van Drew with open arms, a January rally in Wildwood and a speech at the Republican National Convention.

The race in many ways became a referendum on the incumbent’s party switch.

The final tally won’t be known for days. Mail-in ballots postmarked by election day will be counted so long as they reach election officials by November 10.

Provisional ballots, which are expected to favor Republicans, won’t be counted until Nov. 11, and voters who submit deficient ballots have until Nov. 18 to cure them.

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