Republican Kean defeats Malinowski in New Jersey rematch

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Republican Tom Kean Jr. has defeated incumbent Democrat Tom Malinowski in New Jersey ’s 7th District.

Kean’s victory in Tuesday's midterm elections comes two years after he narrowly lost to Malinowski and more than two decades after he first sought election to Congress.

Malinowski was vying for a third term amid serious headwinds: high inflation, sagging approval ratings for Democratic President Joe Biden and a redrawn district that favored Republicans.

Malinowski cast Kean as too beholden to hard core supporters of former President Donald Trump and warned that if Kean and the GOP won, then Republicans would focus on investigating Biden and stymying any legislative agenda.

That strategy faltered.

Kean served as the top GOP senator in the Legislature from 2008 until earlier this year, when he retired from the statehouse to seek the U.S. House seat. He previously ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against Bob Menendez in 2006. He ran for the House in 2000, but lost in a primary that year. In 2020, he came within about 1 point of defeating Malinowski.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the midterm elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and check out https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections to learn more about the issues and factors at play.

Wayne Parry, The Associated Press