Democrat Amy Kennedy to Open CD-2 Exploratory Committee

Amy Kennedy

Amy Kennedy, an educator and mental health advocate from Brigantine, is expected to open an exploratory committee today as she undertakes a period of examination during the holidays about a possible run for Congress in the 2nd District.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s (D-2) apparent decision to switch parties from Democrat to Republican with the blessing of President Donald J. Trump prompted Kennedy to scrutinize the situation.

“I’m taken totally off guard by Van Drew and this week’s news cycle,” Kennedy told InsiderNJ. “There’s a lot to consider.”

Kennedy said she would take the holidays to figure it out. If she concludes she is the best candidate for this particular race and sees a way to win, she will run, she said.

A 14-year veteran public school teacher who champions social and emotional learning and mental health at the Kennedy Forum, her father was a councilman in Absecon. Her husband is former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I), son of the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.

“I’ll know better after the holdiays if that’s a viable course,” Amy Kennedy told InsiderNJ in reference to a congressional run.

Her husband is supportive, and told InsiderNJ he believes his wife is the best candidate for the district.

Her formal statement:


Other Democrats in the hunt for Van Drew’s seat:

Montclair University Political Science Professor Brigid Harrison.

West Cape May Commissioner John Francis.

Cumberland County Freeholder Jack Surrency is contemplating a run.

Atlantic County Freeholder Ashley Bennett is looking at at closely.

And maybe former FBI man Robert “Turk” Turkavage, who ran for Congress as a Republican in 2018 and just became a Democrat.

The Washington Post this weekend reported – and sources on the ground confirmed – that U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2) is poised to become a Republican.

This from the Post: “President Trump on Friday personally urged a vocally anti-impeachment Democrat, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, to switch parties — a request he is now believed to be strongly considering.”

The full story – complete with toughened language which makes it appear all but inevitable that the congressman intends to change party affiliation – can be found here.

A source told InsiderNJ – later confirmed – that most of Van Drew’s staff is departing – many of them picked up by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). But the congressman will retain his chief of staff, Allison Murphy.

Van Drew was one of two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose pursuing articles of impeachment against the President, and he went on the record last week with an announcement that he will vote against impeaching Trump. He likely won’t be the only one.


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