(The Center Square) – Democrat U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski appeared headed to a victory over state Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr.
With about 60 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district, Malinowski had about 55 percent of the vote, while Kean had 45 percent.
Voters elected Malinowski to the post in 2018, knocking off a Republican incumbent, one of 41 seats Democrats gained nationwide. The race was thought to be one of the more competitive races in the Garden State, as Kean, the son of a former New Jersey governor, hoped to turn the seat red once again.
In another closely watched race, U.S. Rep. Andrew Kim, D-New Jersey, held off a challenge from Republican David Richter. Like Malinowski, Kim rode a Democratic wave to power in 2018.
With about 76 percent of precincts reporting, Kim had 55 percent of the vote to Richter’s 44 percent.
However, one other race, New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, remains too close to call.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew garnered national headlines when he left the Democratic Party in the wake of a U.S. House vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Voters elected to send Van Drew to Washington in 2018 after incumbent U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican, did not seek reelection.
With about 75 percent of precincts reporting, Van Drew had about 51 percent of the vote, while challenger Amy Kennedy, a former teacher and education director of The Kennedy Forum, had nearly 48 percent.
Barack Obama took the district in 2008 and 2012, while Trump won it in 2016.
In other key Garden State races, New Jersey voters legalized marijuana for recreational use and approved tax exemptions for veterans who served in peacetime. They also agreed to a delay in congressional redistricting should there be a delay in census data.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden cruised to victory over President Donald Trump in the state, and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, won reelection. Booker withstood a challenge from Republican Rikin Mehta and several independent or third-party candidates.