Tricia Flanagan went on an early offensive against Rep. Andy Kim (D-Bordentown) with a lengthy social media video taking aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Phil Murphy and the state’s response to COVID-19.
The two-minute-and-19-second spot shows Flanagan walking through what appear to be portions of the third congressional district as she invokes a list of issues at the core of the party’s Trumpian base.
It highlights Kim’s votes to impeach former President Donald Trump for his attempt to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into President Joe Biden, then the frontrunner to take on Trump, and for his role in the failed Jan. 6 insurrection.
It also charges Kim is beholden to Democratic congressional leaders, claims First and Second Amendment rights are “under attack” and stokes worry over illegal immigration.
Script: It’s time to take the Speaker’s gavel out of Nancy Pelosi’s hand for good. I’ll do it myself if you give me that chance. My name is Tricia Flanagan. In New Jersey, failed congressman Andy Kim votes with Nancy Pelosi 98% of the time. He’s weak. He does whatever his overlords tell him to do. He doesn’t represent the people in our district. He doesn’t represent our interests.
He is not one of us. This is MAGA country. We supported our president. Andy Kim voted for impeachment — twice. Our first and second amendments are under attack. Our medical freedoms are being stripped away. Illegal immigrants are being shipped from the southern border straight to New Jersey.
And Phil Murphy’s COVID response has destroyed our economy because he doesn’t understand real science. I’m a biochemist. I’m an expert in my field. If there’s one thing I understand, it’s science. New Jersey Got it all wrong, and what did Andy Kim do about it? Absolutely nothing except waste our tax dollars on his big fat paycheck.
We need strong leadership with a backbone to represent us in DC. Not RINOs, not establishment sellouts and certainly not spineless Democrats who kowtow to their masters. We need patriots who put America first. I am that fighter. I’ve been a freedom fighter for my entire life. I used to skip class in the 1980s to go to rallies for President Reagan, and I’m still fighting for freedom today. That’s why I’m running for Congress.
First, we’re going to take Andy Kim’s seat, then we’re going to take Nancy’s gavel. In 2022, New Jersey’s third district will be one of the most flippable districts in all America. This is our chance to take back the House and stop these radicals from turning our country into a socialist hellhole. Let’s roll.
The ad was produced by Arsenal Media Group, the same firm used by former gubernatorial candidate Phil Rizzo to boost fundraising. Flanagan’s social media posts couple the ad with fundraising calls, though it’s not clear how much of the money she raises will be hers to keep.
Advertising from the same firm helped a Baltimore-based congressional candidate raise more than $8 million, but Arsenal and Olympic Media Group, but at a high cost.
Flanagan’s campaign for the House is her third bid for federal office. She unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate as an independent in 2018 and lost a bid for the Republican Senate nod to former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rik Mehta last year.
Her bid in the third district could face significant headwinds, though the true lay of the land won’t be clear until after district lines are redrawn later this year.
Kim, a second term congressman, won what was the narrowest congressional victory of the year in 2018, defeating Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Randolph) by a little more than a single point in the Trump midterms.
He defeated former Hill International CEO David Richter by a far broader margin last year, winning out by nearly eight points.
Growing Democratic strength in Burlington County has made the district an increasingly safe bet for Democratic congressional candidates over the last several years. When Kim ousted MacArthur in 2018, there were 12,178 more Democrats than Republicans there.
That registration advantage had grown to 15,277 by the date of last year’s general election, though the gap has slowed its growth, rising to just 15,325 by the start of July.
Both of Kim’s opponents were wealthy self-funders, and the congressman reported having more than $2 million banked for his 2022 re-election bid in filings submitted to the Federal Election Commission last month.
Despite Democrats’ demographic advantages, there’s a silver lining for Flanagan. Trump carried the district both times he ran, winning it by six points in 2016 and by a mere two-tenths of a point in 2020.
Kim has gained some national profile since last November after being pictured cleaning up detritus left by Trump supporters during their assault on the U.S. Capitol.
His 2020 re-election campaign was bolstered by disunity on the Republican side. Richter initially filed to run in the second district but swapped to the third after Rep. Jeff Van Drew defected to the Republican Party.
There, he faced a bruising primary against former Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs, whom the Burlington GOP had already backed as their candidate.
Flanagan is likely to face her own primary opponent. Robert Healey Jr., the wealthy co-chairman of the South Jersey-based Viking Yacht Company and a former punk rocker, is positioned as the race’s frontrunner. Republicans love a self-funder.
The two have already exchanged jabs.
It's time to take the Speaker's gavel out of Nancy Pelosi's tyrannical hands for good.
We need patriots who put FREEDOM & America FIRST.
— Tricia Flanagan (R-NJ) (@NewDayForNJ) July 15, 2021