Now that the deadline has passed, assuming there aren’t any late-night mail collections, the waiting begins. Don’t expect a full slate of results for about a week in the Garden State, which doesn’t traditionally rush this part of the process.
But there are a couple of things we do know: Turncoat Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who flipped New Jersey’s 2nd District from red to blue in 2018, then flipped it back, of his own accord, in 2019, will face a Kennedy in November.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has amassed even more delegates. CNN projected that he will win the primaries in his home state of Delaware, which won’t hold its down-ballot contests for a couple of months, and in New Jersey, as both states delivered stamps of approval for the former vice president.
Here are CNN’s takeaways:
A concession in New Jersey’s 2nd
Brigid Callahan Harrison, a Montclair State University political science professor, conceded the Democratic race in New Jersey’s 2nd District to Amy Kennedy, a mental health advocate, educator and wife of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, on Tuesday night.
Multiple counties in New Jersey are still counting the results of the election, which will count all mail-in ballots postmarked by Election Day and received by July 14.
Callahan Harrison’s concession came less than two hours after the polls closed. At the time of her concession, Kennedy led the race with roughly 55% of the vote to Callahan Harrison’s 32%.
“I want to congratulate Amy and the Kennedy family for winning the Democratic primary and becoming our nominee for the 2nd District of New jersey,” Callahan Harrison said in a video posted online. “As we all know, this was a tough, hard-fought race, but we all know — let me be clear — that is now behind us.”
Democrats are, unsurprisingly, primed to unseat Van Drew, who broke from the party last year after voting against impeachment. His defection came with a promise of “undying support” to President Donald Trump.
“As I have stated many times over the last few months, there is far more that unifies us than divides us and we will not beat Jeff Van Drew unless we remain unified and focused on November,” Callahan Harrison added. “We remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure that Amy Kennedy defeats Jeff Van Drew in November.”
Kennedy’s win is also a triumph for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who endorsed her two weeks ago over Callahan Harrison, the choice of state political powerbroker George Norcross and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney. Harrison also had the backing of US Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.
What Kennedy had, in addition to the support of the governor, was a $500,000 donation to her own cause and a last name that Democrats tend to vote for when it’s on a ballot.
They’ll be rushing to do it again in November, when Van Drew tries for a second term, this time as a Republican from the start.
Few competitors, no problems for Biden
The early returns suggest that Democrats aren’t having any second thoughts about their choice.
Biden’s take of the vote is up above 85% in New Jersey, where Sen. Bernie Sanders was also on the ballot, and 90% in Delaware, where Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren were both on the menu.
Joe and Jill Biden voted absentee, a campaign official told CNN on Monday, “following Delaware’s rule accommodating voting during Covid-19.” They turned in their ballots in person to the New Castle County board of elections last week.
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