Kim Puts His Foot on the Gas

RANDOLPH – Andy Kim, the CD-3 congressman, jumped into the U.S. Senate race right after Bob Menendez was indicted. He was the first to get in, but that distinction may not carry all that much weight.

“I don’t feel like I’m being given a fair shot,” Kim told about 150 or so Morris County Democrats who braved frigid Saturday morning temps to see him speak at County College of Morris.

Part of that has to do with First Lady Tammy Murphy, Kim’s main opponent for the party’s Senate nomination. Murphy’s candidacy was quickly embraced by the party establishment, including some of Kim’s own Democratic congressional colleagues.

But it’s more than endorsements, the importance of which is often overrated.

It’s the “county line,” a mechanism in which candidates endorsed by county leaders are given a preferential ballot position.

Critics say candidates not endorsed end up in “Siberia,” or in other words, on a part of the ballot where their names are hard to find. Simple logic, and for the matter, history, tells us that candidates running “off-line” find it hard to win.

This race is still unfolding, but Kim’s dilemma is already apparent.

He is being very well received by average folk – rank and file Democrats. Most of the crowd gave him a standing ovation when he finished speaking.

However, if Murphy gets the best ballot position in most of the counties across New Jersey, the odds can tip her way.

Kim said he wants all the candidates in the race for Senate to eschew “the line.”  He said county organizations can still endorse, but that all Senate candidates should be grouped together on the ballot.

When Murphy addressed the same group last week, she did not go along with that idea.  She said she would follow the law. However, how candidates are placed on a ballot is the policy of the county organization; it’s not a law.

Kim said Menendez’ legal troubles make it even more important for Democrats to, in a sense, practice real democracy, and not be beholden to party bosses.

A bit later, he said one aspect of this primary is, “What does the Democratic Party in New Jersey stand for?”

Kim, who was first elected to his central Jersey district in 2018, did not directly raise the nepotism issue involving the First Lady and Gov. Phil Murphy.

But either by design, or coincidence, he stressed his modest background as the son of immigrants and a “public school kid.”

On issues, there is little philosophical difference between Kim and Murphy, which is to be expected.

Kim offered more details than Murphy did in her appearance before the same group. That is not necessarily a criticism of Murphy. Someone in office should offer more details on issues than someone who is not.

Kim said he wants to get to universal health care, but the immediate challenge now is stopping Republicans from rolling back gains made by the Affordable Care Act and more recent legislation capping out of pocket prescription costs for seniors.

As for student debt, Kim acknowledged there are no simple answers, but he said more attention should be given to why the cost of a college education has risen so astronomically, which he termed “fundamentally wrong.”

He also said he supports a plan to bolster Social Security long term by re-starting the payroll tax on incomes of $400,000 and above. As of this year, that tax is capped at the first $168,000 of income. Kim would leave that cap intact, but restart it at $400,000.

In what really is a “goes without saying” position for Dems these days, Kim said he supports nationwide abortion rights.

He also offered an anecdote that crystallizes the polarization over the issue.

He recalled being on the House floor in June of 2022 when Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court and seeing Republicans celebrating with high-fives.

“It just disgusted me,” Kim said.




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6 responses to “Kim Puts His Foot on the Gas”

  1. Kim is finished! The endorsements that were given to Murphy (with more to come), and she’ll be receiving the line in most counties, is a death knell to Kim’s campaign!

    Also, Kim being disgusted by Roe v Wade being overturned and Republicans celebrating is very telling of how he feels about snuffing out innocent life up till the time of birth! PATHETIC and very RADICAL!

  2. Great idea for saving Social Security – restarting it at $400,000. Hope that or something similar gets passed.
    Want to point out that if the weather hadn’t been so brutally freezing cold Saturday am, the attendance would of overflowed the space. The ENTIRE nation knows and Loves Andy Kim from his reaction to the destruction of our beloved capital on January 6th.
    Mrs.Murphy , along with her husband “Phil” are barely known other than regionally, one of the couple is barely known other than the spouse that the Governor is trying to help get “appointed” job. A job they have ZERO experience for, other than being rich and a relative, having NEVER held a political office and until recent past was so politically unaware of politics, at an advanced age declared her party as her parents because she didn’t know better. That alone speaks volumes as to the reason of being unqualified for a Senate seat. NJ deserves the best – Andy Kim for Senate. I’m looking forward to seeing his opponents get behind his campaign after he wins the primary.

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