Home>Congress>Gov. Kean ‘fully supportive’ if Tom Kean, Jr. runs for Congress

Former Gov. Thomas Kean, right, campaigns with President George H.W. Bush in Middletown in 1992.

Gov. Kean ‘fully supportive’ if Tom Kean, Jr. runs for Congress

Kean Jr. is mulling challenge to freshman Tom Malinowski in 7th district

By Nikita Biryukov, March 21 2019 4:36 pm

Former Gov. Thomas Kean wouldn’t say Thursday whether his son, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) should run for Congress, but he will support him if he does.

“That’s up to him, whatever he runs for. People talk about him in that race, they talk about him running against Phil [Murphy] next time. They talk about him running another try for the senate,” the elder Kean said. “I think he’s the best Republican candidate around for any office, so he’s going to get encouraged, but what he does is up to him.”

Earlier this year, the senator created an exploratory committee — the first step in a challenge to Rep. Tom Malinowski (R-D-Rocky Hill), who ousted five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) last year.

Since then, the younger Kean has largely been silent on his political goals, but he is considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 7th district if he wants it.

Should he choose to run, he’ll do so with the backing of New Jersey’s most popular living governor.

“I’m fully supportive,” Gov. Kean said. “I think it’d be great for the state if he did anything.”

The Kean family has a long history of public service, including Capitol Hill.  Gov. Kean’s father, Robert W. Kean, served in the House from 1939 to 1959, and his grandfather, Hamilton F. Kean, was a United States Senator from 1929 to 1935.   The former governor’s great-great-great grandfather, John Kean, was a member of the Continental Congress from 1785 to 1787.

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