There will be no trilogy in 2024 to Malinowski-Kean.
Tom Malinowski, the former two-term representative of the 7th Congressional District, announced on May 23 that he will not seek to reclaim his seat in 2024.
“It was the greatest honor of my life to represent you in Congress. And I believe strongly that a Democrat can and will win the seat next year,” Malinowski said. “But that is a mountain I have climbed before and I am looking forward to climbing many new ones.
All three of Malinowski elections were tight in one of the few swing districts in the states. He was first elected as part of the 2018 Democratic wave, beating Rep. Leonard Lance with 52% of the vote.
In 2020, the former assistant U.S. Secretary of State during the Obama administration was able to hold off Tom Kean Jr. by a percentage point. But after New Jersey Democrats approved a map that made the district more Republican friendly and a seat that national GOP leaders focused on as needing to win to flip the House, Kean unseated Malinowski by two percentage points last Fall.
Pointed Words for Kean
Malinowski in his statement to the New Jersey Globe said he was grateful to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to change the politics of the district and the course of the country over the last six years.
“Together, we built an incredible family of Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans who support common sense solutions to our country’s problems while fiercely defending its democratic principle,” he said. “Our family will endure. So will our accomplishments, from rebuilding infrastructure, to restoring manufacturing, to lowering drug prices, protecting access to health care, and making America the world’s clean energy leader.”
But even in his statement, the animosity towards Kean continued to show as Malinowski observed that the gains made are under attack as “our current representative will waste his remaining days in Congress failing to repeal them.”
Names for 2024 Race
The speculation now turns to who will take on Kean next year in a district that includes all of Hunterdon and Warren counties as well as parts of Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Union Counties. The Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district currently has it as R+1 district and the Democrat who wins the nomination will undoubtedly attempt to link Kean to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, who the freshman lawmaker has been a strong supporter of.
Among the names already being floated include local lawmakers such as former State Sen. Raymond Lesniak and Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16), government officials such as former Deputy U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jim Johnson and Matt Klapper, the chief of staff to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and former chief of Staff to Sen. Cory Booker, as well as New Jersey Working Families state director Sue Altman.
Malinowski to Remain in the Arena
But Malinowski, who has recently signed on as a fellow at the McCain Institute and as a board member of Radio Free Europe, said he will continue to be a voice to help build on the gains accomplished during his four years in office.
“Much more effort will be needed to protect our freedoms, from New Jersey all the way to Ukraine,” stated Malinowski. “Whatever the future brings for me, I will stay in that fight and help anyone who joins it.”