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November 06, 2020

Rep. Jeff Van Drew projected to win, defeating Amy Kennedy in New Jersey's 2nd District U.S. House race

The AP called the race in favor of the incumbent Friday, but the Democratic challenger has not yet conceded

Party-switching Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew has defeated challenger Amy Kennedy, maintaining his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 2nd Congressional District of New Jersey.

The Associated Press called the race in favor of Van Drew on Friday morning. The incumbent had received 51.65% of the vote to Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy's 46.67% with more than 80% of precincts reporting. Van Drew had declared victory Tuesday night when he gained a 10,000 vote lead over Kennedy.

All election results are unofficial until certified by New Jersey election officials.

Van Drew's lead has only increased since then. Kennedy, a former public school teacher and the wife of former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (the son of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy), has said she will fight until the last ballot has been counted.

New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District covers eight counties in the southernmost quarter of New Jersey, and stretches width of the state from the Delaware River to the Jersey Shore.

Van Drew will represent the district for a second term. He was first elected in 2018 as a Democrat and had he flipped the district from Republican control. 

Then, Van Drew changed his mind. He famously left the Democratic Party in December 2019 during President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings, saying he couldn't support the impeachment effort and pledging his "undying support" to Trump.

He ran his first race as a Republican in July 2020 and won, defeating Bob Patterson during the GOP primary.

Kennedy had not conceded election as of Friday afternoon.

A Facebook post for her campaign Wednesday night read, "There are tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted. Every vote needs to be counted and every voice needs to be heard."

Van Drew countered in a social media post Friday morning, calling attention to Kennedy's continued fight and the ongoing vote-counting taking place for the contested 2020 presidential election. 

"As more votes are counted in South Jersey, Congressman Van Drew's lead continues to grow and the Kennedy campaign becomes increasingly desperate. They're now sending out fundraising emails making outrageous claims of dirty tricks and the intimidation of local election officials in South Jersey. Since the Press continues to vilify President Trump for calling attention to legitimate concerns about how votes are being counted around the country will they hold Kennedy accountable for her completely unsubstantiated allegations? We all know the answer," Van Drew wrote.

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