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Former Rhode Island U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy won’t run next year in the 2nd Congressional District, he told InsiderNJ. “No, thanks for asking,” said the Brigantine resident and son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.
But he signaled his willingness to be active.
For while removing himself from contention as a contestant in a 2020 Democratic Primary, Kennedy did say he would be watching how U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2) votes on the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.
“If he votes no on impeachment… I wouldn’t be the only one around here who wil be marking him absent from now on,” Kennedy said.
Long defined as a moderate in a Republican-district who prizes working across the aisle, Van Drew angered progressives in his district as one of just two House Democrats who earlier this year opposed the launch of impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
“Everybody says, ‘Be on the right side of history’ — I think the right side of history is not to impeach,” Van Drew told NBC News last month.
Today, Dr. Brigid Harrison, professor of political science at Montclair University, said she is contemplating a challenge to Van Drew. “It’s an interesting question,” she told InsiderNJ. “There are people who have asked me to run, whose opinions matter to me.
“It’s something I have to think about,” Harrison added.
A mental health advocate, Kennedy served as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives from Rohode Island’s 1st congressional district from 1995 to 2011. Founder of the Kennedy Forum and the youngest child of late liberal lion Ted Kennedy, he is a former member of the President’s Commission on Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and co-founder of One Mind.
He lives with his wife and children in Brigantine.