FLEMINGTON – Tom Malinowski may have been in genteel Hunterdon County, but he was still in New Jersey, and as such, he said he wanted to talk a little “Jersey.”
He said the upcoming midterm is a choice between those who “get s… done” and those who are “bat s… crazy!”
That kinda sets the stage, doesn’t it?
The incumbent Democrat explained his pithy analysis thusly:
He didn’t actually mention the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene or Lauren Boebert, but he said some House Republicans are way out of the mainstream. Right now, he said they’re just social media irritants, but what happens if they’re in the majority come January?
That brought the discussion Wednesday evening in a local brew pub to the CD-7 rematch between Malinowski and Republican Thomas H. Kean Jr.
Malinowski called it the most competitive House race in the country. Given the fact so many districts are gerrymandered to tilt strongly in one direction, he may be right.
As for the “get s… done” part of the equation, Malinowski talked about the recent accomplishments of the Democratic Congress. About 100 people were crowded into the top room of the bar to hear him.
He began by relating his visit with a senior who was probably not a Democrat. Yet, Malinowski said the man liked hearing some drug prices are bound to go down because beginning in 2026, Medicare will be able to negotiate costs, There also will be a $2,000 annual cap on drug costs for seniors beginning in 2025 and a $35 a month cap on insulin starting next year for those on Medicare.
Then he got around to infrastructure, Not only does a bill passed earlier this year with some bipartisan support underwrite major projects like a new rail tunnel under the Hudson, it funds myriad local improvements throughout the state and CD-7. For example, he said that in Flemington, it funds a new well for drinking water and improvements to the YMCA.
The congressman also said he’s happy to read stories of companies announcing plans to manufacture microchips after a bill passed to help the industry. Far better than having them made in Taiwan, he said.
This was a campaign event, so before long, Malinowski got to the punch line.
“My opponent, Tom Kean Jr., is against every single one” of these accomplishments.
Then he took another swipe, saying that it’s actually hard to know where Kean stands, because the Republican’s website is a bit weak on issues. Kean has been using his internet presence basically to blame Democrats for causing inflation and high gas prices.
Malinowski said the contrast could not be starker.
One of those in the house was Rick Wolfe, a committee member and former mayor of East Amwell. Wolfe is also a Republican, but not a Donald Trump type of Republican.
He also saw a sharp contrast between the candidates.
“You have a choice – moderate or MAGA,” Wolfe said.
The national outlook appears to have improved for Democrats, but Malinowski is under no illusions.
He said he expects “another landslide win” of 1 percent.