Party-flipper Van Drew keeps his seat as a Republican
Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew defeated Democratic rival Amy Kennedy and won a second term in his South Jersey district.
Van Drew gained national attention when he left the Democratic Party late last year because he opposed impeaching President Donald Trump. He pledged his “undying support” to the president in the Oval Office. He also hosted a rally for Trump in Wildwood in January, before the COVID-19 outbreak struck.
Kennedy, the spouse of former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy of the storied Massachusetts political family, won a contentious primary in July. She focused much of her campaign on protecting the health care protection under the Affordable Care Act.
Van Drew has more than 50% of the vote with Kennedy trailing by 8,500 votes.
The vote totals do not include provisional ballots but Van Drew was enough in the lead that the Associated Press has called the race for him. Van Drew had declared victory on election night but Kennedy did not concede.
Van Drew's biggest base of support was in Cape May and the part of Ocean County in his district. He also leads in Salem, Camden and Burlington county portions of the district. Kennedy won in Atlantic and Cumberland counties.
Van Drew, a longtime conservative Democratic state lawmaker, was elected to Congress as part of the "blue wave" of the 2018 midterm elections. He switched parties at the start of this year in response to the Democratic-led impeachment of the president.
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