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Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Stefanik endorses Kean for Congress

Top three House Republicans backing Kean rematch with Malinowski

By David Wildstein, July 28 2021 9:51 am

Tom Kean, Jr. has now picked up the endorsements of the top three Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives as he seeks a rematch with Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in New Jersey’s 7th district.

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik today backed Kean for the Republican nomination, joining earlier pre-primary endorsements from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.

“I know Tom to be a man of integrity, a proud husband to his wife and father to his two daughters,” Stefanik seat.  “I know he will always do what is in the best interest of the next generation of men and women in his district.”

Stefanik won the leadership post earlier this year after House Republicans tossed Mary Cheney (R-Wyoming) following her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Kean, the minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate, came within 1 percentage point of unseating Malinowski in 2020.  He is not seeking re-election to the legislature in 2021 to focus on next year’s campaign.

Stefanik’s endorsement featured an attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who she wanted to send packing.  A familiar theme in Kean’s race last year was that Malinowski voted with Pelosi 98% of the time.   Kean says the number so far this year is 100%.

“Nancy Pelosi and her Socialist cronies are destroying our economy, trampling on our freedoms, and encouraging lawless behavior — she must go,” Stefanik said.

The 37-year-old Stefanik is serving her fourth term as a congresswoman from New York.  If Republicans flip at least five House seats – Malinowski is one of their top targets nationally – Stefanik would be in line to become House Majority Whip and the first Republican woman to hold a top leadership position.

“I am grateful to receive the endorsement of Congresswoman Stefanik. She is a bold leader and advocate for conservative values,” Kean said.  “As a father of two daughters, I am grateful for the investment Congresswoman Stefanik has made towards uplifting women and making their voices heard. Together, we will work for the people and bring common sense solutions to Washington.”

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rik Mehta is also seeking the GOP House nomination in the 7th.  He was the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate against Cory Booker in 2020.

Newcomer John Henry Isemann is also exploring a bid for Congress.

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