Van Drew Challenge Taking Shape as Montclair State Professor and Political Pundit Secures Endorsements

Even before Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2) cast his vote against the House’s Articles of Impeachment late Wednesday evening, or formally announced his anticipated switch to the Republican party, South Jersey Democratic leaders yesterday afternoon began lining up behind Montclair State University professor and political commentator Brigid Harrison’s candidacy to replace the freshman congressman.

State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) was joined by six South Jersey Democratic county chairs in announcing their support for Harrison as the party’s nominee for Congress in 2nd Congressional District pledging their assistance to help her secure the county party lines in the June primary, and ultimately winning the seat in November. 

While the endorsements represent a significant portion of the district’s eight counties, missing are Atlantic County with its twenty-three towns and Ocean County which has the ten towns in the district. 

Harrison is considered one of the state’s top political pundits and is the author of “American Democracy Now,” along with “A More Perfect Union, Power and Society and Women in American Politics.”

She is not alone in wanting the Democratic nomination. Brigantine resident Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), is opening an exploratory committee. Several others are considering a run. In an interesting twist, former GOP candidate Robert Turkavage last week switched from Republican to Democrat and is pursuing the Democratic nomination. The former FBI agent lost his 2018 bid for the Republican nomination to face-off against Van Drew in the general election.

Van Drew has been a strong credit union supporter since his election to Congress in 2018 and while serving in the state Legislature before that.

Candidate Trump carried the district by 4.6 percentage points in 2016.