Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), is running as a Democrat for the seat held by Rep. Jefferson Van Drew, the New Jersey congressman who recently announced he would switch parties and become a Republican after deciding to vote against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s impeachment.
Kennedy announced her bid on Monday in a video tying Van Drew to Trump, but not directly addressing the congressman’s plans to switch parties or his position on impeachment.
“Too many of our leaders have lost their moral compass,” she said in the video. “Trump and Van Drew are symptoms of a bigger sickness infecting our country and our politics.”
“Doing what’s right shouldn’t be complicated,” she added.
In the announcement, Kennedy also touched on several other issues she said are impacting her community, including a lack of good jobs and attacks on the South Jersey coastline due to climate change.
She also addressed the mental health and addiction crisis, an issue her husband has been an advocate for since opening up about his own battle with addiction.
Kennedy faces at least one other Democratic challenger, Brigid Harrison, who announced a run for the seat as a Democrat shortly after Van Drew moved to switch parties. Harrison is a political science professor at Montclair State University.
Harrison welcomed her the new challenger to the race.
“Primaries are good for democracy because they encourage participation in our elections,” Harrison said in a statement to The Hill. “I will continue meeting with voters throughout the district and asking them to support my candidacy. I look forward to our discussions in the coming months over the issues that matter most to the people of South Jersey.”
The district had been held by a Republican before Van Drew’s election as a Democrat in 2018.
–This report was updated at 3:20 p.m.
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