Andy Kim v. (Healey v. Smith) in NJ’s 3rd Congressional Race

Every seat in New Jersey’s 12-member congressional delegation is up for grabs this year. Voting culminates on Election Day Nov 8. With the exception of Albio Sires (NJ-8) all the incumbents are gearing up for another tilt.

You know the June 7 primary is on the horizon by all the intra-party jockeying to determine which candidates will emerge to take on the incumbents.

In NJ’s 3rd Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Andy Kim is gearing up for a 3rd term.

Congressman Kim’s GOP rival this November will be Bob Healey or Ian Smith.

While both men whine about things like cancel culture in equal measure, Healey v. Smith looks like a proxy battle between the old school- and modern GOP. In the Wall Street Journal corner, you’ve got Mr. Healy, a Catholic School advocate who runs a South Jersey company that builds fancy boats for rich folks.

In the “COVID’s a myth” corner there’s Ian Smith, a gym-owner who made national headlines by repeatedly defying NJ’s emergency pandemic precautions. Mr. Smith drew hoards of maskless, cheering supporters to rallies outside his gym to traffic COVID myths and political conspiracies. Smith’s antics, which repeatedly put law enforcement at risk for COVID, turned him into a rightwing folk hero all over FOX NEWS, a friendly place where no one asked about the time Mr. Smith killed someone while driving drunk.

Surfing a wave of his own martyrdom earned Mr. Smith hoards of attention and a half million dollars via GoFundMe.

“This is not an exercise in vanity,” noted Steve Kush, an advisor to Smith’s campaign, which is crazy because vanity is all I see here.

Ryan Peters is a GOP lawmaker who did two terms in the New Jersey General Assembly. He lives and

Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-8).
Former Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-8).

votes in the district. A career Naval officer and former SEAL, Mr. Peters is unimpressed with Mr. Smith’s brand of virtue signaling.

“Ian Smith is a self-promoting carnival barker who is trying to hijack the Republican Party and drag us down, rather than drive us forward,” Mr. Peters told InsiderNJ. “This guy pretends to be some kind of alpha dog, but truth is he’s really just a drama queen. Bottom line, I like winning, and this guy is a stone cold loser in November.”

Of course, given the nature of the district, it might be hard for any Republican to win in NJ3.

According to Micah Rasmussen, who runs the Rebovich Institute for NJ Politics at Rider University, the newly configured 3rd Congressional District is more solidly Democratic than ever, a huge boost for the incumbent Congressman Kim.

“[Former President] Trump carried what will soon be the old 3rd district by a fraction of a point, while the towns that make up the new district gave Biden a 14-point win,” Mr. Rasmussen told InsiderNJ.

Mr. Kim’s district swaps its (conservative-leaning) towns in Ocean County for bits of Monmouth and Mercer, including Hamilton Township, population 92,000.

None in this is good news for whichever Republican emerges from this the June primary.

“NJ’s 3rd Congressional district will now include all of Burlington, except for Palmyra and Maple Shade,” Mr. Rasmussen added. “It also picks up parts of Mercer and Monmouth— adding all of Hamilton, Lawrence, East Windsor, Hightstown, and Robbinsville in Mercer, and Allentown, Englishtown, Freehold Borough, Holmdel, Manalapan, Marlboro, Millstone, Roosevelt, and parts of Marlboro and Freehold Township” in Monmouth County.

Jay Lassiter is an award-winning writer and podcaster based in Cherry Hill. 

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19 responses to “Andy Kim v. (Healey v. Smith) in NJ’s 3rd Congressional Race”

  1. I have an abundance of respect and admiration for Andy Kim. Remember how he spent hours after the January 6th insurrection on his hands and knees picking up papers off the Capitol floor.
    QUIETLY, I might add.

    Regardless of who wins the primary, my support goes to Rep. Andy Kim.

    The days of brash, ego-seeking, attention -grabbing
    candidates should be over.
    I, and all voters, should demand character, common sense, and honor in their legislators.
    As stated in the column, carnival barkers,
    we do not need.

    Great Column, Jay Lassiter!

  2. I think that Andy Kim is an outstanding Congressman for the 3rd CD. He is also a champion for the state of NJ.

    The current choice of Republican candidates for the 3rd CD I am sure have not been vetted by the party. Unless the GOP is still running on hate and division.

    Excellent article, Jay Lassiter

  3. Andy Kim is the epitome of how a congressman SHOULD act. He represents the entire district, not just those who voted for him. On a recent Zoom, he mentioned how he is continuing to work for his Ocean County constituents, even though they have been moved out of his district for the next election. He works effectively across the aisle, and is one of the most intelligent and compassionate politicians that I have known.

  4. Andy Kim is full of integrity. He thinks through each issue before making decisions. He is a refreshing change from typical politicians.

  5. Congressman Kim has represented my Congressional district for 2 terms and hopefully will be re-elected to serve a 3rd term. His support for all members of our district has been a great asset for all of his constituents. He never divides or alienates anyone that he serves and deserves to be re-elected.

  6. For all of the reasons stated in the article, neither of the potential Republican candidates offer an iota of the experience that Congressman Kim does, nor the required heart of a public servant that being a representitive for ALL of a district’s constituents requires. NJ District 3 has been blessed by Congressman Kim’s tireless efforts over the past 4 years, and he richly deserves to be elected to a third term in November, 2022.

  7. Andy Kim has my vote. The intra party culture battles of the GOP are not helping real live people. Kim is a solid citizen, family man, who gets things done.

  8. Andy Kim has done a great job for us and somehow has done so without calling anyone on the other team names.

    I’m sick and tired of adults who act like 6th graders on the playground. The selfishness and bullying from the Republican Party needs to stop.

    Look to Ukraine for an example of how to be patriotic and grown up. Andy Kim is the only grown up in this race.

  9. Andy Kim has been the best Congressman I have seen in this District. He continues to be responsive to the needs of his constituents. People from around the country tell me they wish he was theirCongressman.

  10. Andy Kim will get my vote in November because he’s earned it, many times over. His predecessors had no regard for us, the Constituents of the third district. Congressman Kim’s sole focus has been on public service, first and foremost, and he’s been a true Representative of the people. He’s accessible, holding multiple in person town halls, and tele-town halls during the pandemic. He’s responsive and votes in our best interest … for projects and legislation that will benefit the Third District. He has been a breath of fresh air and deserves another term.

  11. We are excited to support Congressman Kim this year. He has done a great job advocating for the residents of New Jersey. Thank you, Congressman Kim!

  12. I’m a democrat and have campaigned in the past for Congressman Kim…and overwhelming, regardless of which party people belong to, the response from everyone I speak to is one of respect for Andy’s focus on issues that matter to people who live in CD3. From the work he’s done in support of Veterans, through to his focus on small business initiatives, it’s obvious to anyone who follows his initiatives that his whole focus is on doing what’s right for everyone in this district. He’s a work horse not a show pony. We’d be lucky to have him working for us again as our congressman.

  13. Andy Kim is the epitome of public servant, committed to his constituents, our military, our democracy, our diversity, and our country. He communicates in regular town halls, answers questions from Ds and Rs alike, and works his bottom off on critical House committees. We can’t do better.

  14. Andy has always done a great job. He is all in for his district. Moreover, in this time of increasing prejudice, we need Andy’s open mind more than ever before.

  15. Andy Kim has been the best Representativewe have ever had in this district. He pays attention to the needs of his constituents, holds monthly town halls to inform us of many different topics, and is willing to answer any and all questions regardless of who is doing the asking. He is polite, he actually cares about all of us. He is also very intelligent and has a deep knowledge of foreign affairs.
    Andy Kim is the perfect Representative for this district.

  16. I have supported Andy Kim for Congress since his first, exploratory meetings in 2017. He has not disappointed me. Rather, his responsiveness, moderate and measured approach to policy, and the fact that he works non-stop for NJCD 3 make me proud to call him MY congressman.

  17. Andy Kim is the most dedicated congressional leader this district has every seen. Congressman Kim is invested and committed to being a representative for ALL of the people living in District 3. He holds regular monthly town hall events to keep his constituents informed of what’s happening in DC that effects us in South Jersey. He is the real deal and not just someone looking to make a headline by supporting the rantings of a delusional man, like one of the GOP candidates. Congressman Kim is in tune with our community. He supports the veterans and the Joint Base, bringing many federal dollars back to New Jersey and our counties and district. He is about as non partisan as a elected representative can be. And if you have any doubt, remember that photo of Congressman Kim, picking up trash left behind by the rioters on January 7th, in the Capital. That wasn’t staged or fake, that was Andy Kim being the man of character that he is and will continue to be. He had my vote then and he will have my vote in the future, Andy Kim is what’s right about South Jersey!

  18. Congressman Kim will win not only because of district changes but because he is everything a congressman needs to be. He is honest, knowledgeable, experienced, diligent AND he truly cares about his constituents and our country. He has my vote!

  19. Healey is running ads panning Kim for an “extreme” agenda, like… “boys and girls playing sports together”? It actually says more about Healey than Kim that he thinks this is an extreme position. Just seems like the typical attempt to manufacture a fake culture war over a non-issue. Meanwhile, I’ve seen actual substance, character, and leadership coming from Kim. I’m glad I’m now in his district and will have a chance to vote in this race.

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