Two More Names Emerge as Potential Democratic Challengers in CD2

Cape May

Two more names have emerged as possible Democratic Primary challengers to U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2). They are Cumberland County Freeholder Jack Surrency and West Cape May Commissioner John Francis.

A progressive group called Indivisible Cape May – intent on getting behind a candidate who will


primary the incumbent Democratic congressman – is entertaining the names of Democrats who were irritated over Van Drew’s vote in oppoition to an impeachment inquiry into President Donald J. Trump.

Surrency and Francis are the two names surfacing in the group, even as Montclair University Professor Brigid Harrison takes a hard look at challenging Van Drew.

According to a source close to Indivisible, Surency and Francis both “want to run.”

Leaders within Indivisible at this particular moment in time are said to be particularly intrigued by Francis, who hails from their county.

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 Trump.

Harrison of Longport yesterday said she is considering a possible challenge to the congressman in a Democratic Primary.

“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,” she added.

Allies of state Senator Steve Sweeney (D-3) disagreed over political strategy during state Senator Bob Andrzejzcak’s (D-1) unsuccessful campaign to secure the state senate seat left behind by Van Drew when he went to Congress. The name of one of their allies, Cumberland County Clerk Celeste Riley, briefly flickered as a possible challenger. People have also mentioned former Rhode Island U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who now lives in Brigantine.

Kennedy said he personally won’t run, but yesterday issued a warning to Van Drew.

“No, thanks for asking,” said the Brigantine resident and son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, though 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 Van Drew ultimately votes on the Trump impeachment. “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.



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