Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver. Photo courtesy NJ Gov. Phil Murphy's Offie

AC JosepH Media

BRIGANTINE – Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver announced last week she is endorsing Amy Kennedy for New Jersey’s Second Congressional District in the Democratic primary July 7 to face Republican Jeff Van Drew in the November general election.

Van Drew won the seat two years ago as a Democrat, but flipped parties in January during impeachment of President Donald Trump. Trump has since given Van Drew is full-throated support and campaigned for him in Wildwood in late January.

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“Amy Kennedy understands the challenges facing our nation and knows what it means to lead with moral clarity and strength during these unprecedented times,” Oliver, who made history as the first African-American woman to serve as New Jersey’s lieutenant governor, said in a statement released by the Kennedy campaign.

“She knows that we cannot move forward if we’re leaving entire communities behind and has built a diverse coalition of progressive and grassroots supporters to give South Jersey the representation it deserves. I’m proud to endorse her candidacy for Congress because I know she’s a leader who’ll get things done for the people of South Jersey.” She said.

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Oliver’s endorsement comes in the heels of Gov. Phil Murphy endorsing Kennedy as well, bucking the Democratic establishment which is backing Montclair State University professor Brigid Callahan Harrison. Will Cunningham, who lost to Van Drew in the Democratic primary in 2018, is has been running grassroots campaign for the spot.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver who fights day in and day out for the people of New Jersey to help make sure that everyone in our state can thrive,” Kennedy said.

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“The lieutenant governor’s leadership on issues such as fair and affordable housing, community revitalization, social justice, education, and homelessness prevention has brought real change to our state and our communities. As a member of Congress, I will fight every day for all the people of South Jersey and I will never pledge my undying support to anyone other than the people I am elected to represent,” Kennedy added.

Kennedy has also been endorsed byMartin Luther King III, Tanzie Youngblood, End Citizens United, Communication Workers of America, New Jersey Education Association, NJ CD 2 Progressive Democrats, South Jersey Progressive Democrats, NJ Working Families Alliance, Equality PAC and Taking the Hill PAC, among many others. 

In the latest fundraising figures released last week, Kennedy was far and away the leader with more than $584,000 raised and $236,003.93 cash on hand.

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