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Ted Kennedy daughter-in-law launches congressional run against impeachment turncoat Rep. Jeff Van Drew in South Jersey

2020-01-07

Camelot could be coming to the Jersey Shore.

Amy Kennedy, the wife of ex-Rep. Patrick Kennedy and daughter-in-law of late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, has launched a bid for the seat held by Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the rebel who is switching parties to support President Trump in the impeachment battle.

A former school teacher from Brigantine, N.J., Amy Kennedy plans to run as a Democrat for the district won by Van Drew in 2018.

“Trump and Van Drew are symptoms of a bigger sickness infecting our country and our politics,” Amy Kennedy said in a campaign video released Monday. “Doing what’s right shouldn’t be complicated."

The video announcing her campaign pointedly includes footage of Van Drew enthusiastically shaking Trump’s hand.

Van Drew plans to switch parties and run as a Republican in the swing district, which stretches from Cape May up to the South Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. Polls showed Van Drew had little support among Democrats after becoming one of just two Dem lawmakers to vote against impeaching Trump.

It won’t necessarily be a cakewalk in the GOP for Van Drew, who grabbed the seat after longtime Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo retired.

Van Drew has a long history as a partisan Democrat, albeit a conservative one. While Trump has given his stamp of approval, other Republicans have refused to drop out of the race.

Amy Kennedy, whose father was once a Democratic committeeman in Atlantic County, could face a primary fight of her own. Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University, says she is running.

Amy Kennedy married Patrick in 2011, the same year he stepped down from Congress after eight terms representing a Rhode Island district.

The couple moved to the Jersey Shore soon after they wed and both serve as senior officials at The Kennedy Forum, a national mental health advocacy organization that Patrick Kennedy founded after well-publicized battles with addiction and mental health woes.