Check out the website: https://lenspoliticalnotes.com Look at the recent Daily Bits on the website. Political Note #293 Tom Malinowski NJ CD 07, Political Note #194 Andy Kim NJ CD 03. (Also: See corrections at the end of the piece)
Political Note #309 Amy Kennedy NJ CD 02
2020 General election
Amy Kennedy https://www.amykennedyforcongress.com can be counted as one of The Kennedys. John, Bobby, and Teddy. American royalty. If we thought about the future, we might have expected a Congress populated with members of the Kennedy family. We might have expected more than one Kennedy presidency.
1963 happened. 1968 happened. Ted was left. Asked in 1980 why he was running for the Presidency against fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter, he could not answer. The best reason for his inability to answer was that he loved the Senate.
Apparently, Joe Kennedy III loves the Senate, too. One of Bobby’s grandchildren. The only Kennedy in public office right now (at least the only one who is a relative of John, Bobby, or Teddy). A Massachusetts Congressman, Joe III is running against the incumbent and fellow Democrat Ed Markey. The best reason for his run is a combination of his ambition and the footsteps behind him. In the future, the Massachusetts Senate candidates could be Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley or DA Rachael Rollins or AG Maura Healy or some other woman or some other person from a Demographic that is not Joe’s.
There have been other Kennedys in office. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Bobby’s oldest, was elected Maryland’s Lt. Governor. When she ran for governor, she lost to a Republican. Patrick Kennedy, Teddy’s son, was a Rhode Island Congressman. After eight terms, he did not run again. He stepped away to deal with his bipolar disorder and his drug addiction. He became a leader in communicating about how to deal with mental illness and drug addiction.
Passing the torch.
If Joe Kennedy III wins his primary and wins the general election to the US Senate, he will be the first Kennedy in the Senate since Ted. He’ll be watched. Not that there won’t be a lot of non-Kennedys to be watched. The woman Joe Biden selects as his Vice Presidential candidate. The women he skipped. African American women. Asian women. A white woman or two. Even a few ambitious men. And, maybe Joe III.
If Joe Kennedy III loses his primary and Amy Kennedy is elected to represent NJ 02, she will be the only family representative in Congress. She is an in-law. Patrick’s wife. She would not be the first Kennedy in-law in politics. Sargent Shriver was George McGovern’s Vice Presidential nominee, after all.
Amy Kennedy is a divorcee and is now the mother of five. Four of her children are with Patrick. She is the daughter of a political junkie (she met Patrick Kennedy at a fund raiser for the developmentally disabled that she attended in place of her father in order to get Patrick’s autograph).=
Amy Kennedy, it turns out, is good at politics. She defeated the New Jersey political machine to get her nomination. The George Norcross machine is a real live, powerful political machine, powerful enough that the generally reform-oriented Senator Cory Booker endorsed her opponent. Powerful enough to have powerful enemies. New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy endorsed Amy Kennedy. She was able to combine the Kennedy name, her personal history, effective organizing, a persuasive message and her opposition to George Norcross’s political machine. Amy Kennedy’s victory was resounding – 62 to 23.
Amy Kennedy is not a glamorous Kennedy. She was teaching 8thgrade when she met Patrick. An Al-Anon attendee (she insists that her attendance was not related to her ex-husband), she understood the challenges of being with Patrick. Her life with him has been a combination of having children and becoming part of Patrick’s public life. She became director of education for the Kennedy Forum, Patrick’s mental health advocacy group.
Amy Kennedy’s run for office was a product of her impatience with current politics. Her campaign focused on mental health and education. She did not focus on the political machine she intended to defeat. She let that opposition speak for itself.
Amy Kennedy will be a star if she wins this election. She is running against incumbent Jeff Van Drew. Van Drew was elected as a Democrat, but defected to the Republican Party, after voting against impeaching Donald Trump. There is a list below of a lot of seats that Democrats would like to flip in November, flips that would allow the creation of an overwhelming Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. Not one of those flips would be more satisfying to the Democratic leadership than a victory by Amy Kennedy.
Help make Amy Kennedy https://www.amykennedyforcongress.com a star. She is good at raising money (which is part of being good at politics). She raised $1.5 million. She had to spend most of that on her primary. She began July with $130,000. Jeff Van Drew began July with $1.2 million. Send her some money. Make her a star.
Below are Congressional seats Democrats are trying to flip from incumbent Republicans. The ones with asterisks* ran in 2018. In 2018, Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House. Let’s flip 20 more.
Alaska AL Alyce Galvin* to defeat incumbent Don Young
Arizona 06 Hiral Tipirneni* to defeat incumbent David Schweikert
Arkansas 02. Joyce Elliott to defeat incumbent French Hill
California 25. Christy Smith to defeat incumbent Mike Garcia who won the May special election.
California 50 Ammar Campa-Hajjar* to win this now open Rep seat
Colorado 03 Diane Mitsch Bush to in this now open Republican seat
Florida 15 Adam Hattersley to defeat incumbent Ross Spano
Florida 16 Margaret Good to defeat incumbent Vern Buchanan
Georgia 07 Carolyn Bordeaux* to win this open seat
Illinois 13 Betsy Dirksen Londrigen* to defeat Rodney Davis
Indiana 05 Christina Hale to win this open Republican seat
Iowa 04 JD Scholten* to win this open seat
Kansas 02 Michelle De La Isla to defeat incumbent Steve Watkins
Michigan 03. Hillary Scholten to win this open seat
Michigan 06 Jon Hoadley to defeat incumbent Fred Upton
Minnesota 01 Dan Feehan* to defeat incumbent Jim Hagedorn
Missouri 02 Jill Schupp to defeat incumbent Ann Wagner
Montana AL Kathleen Williams* to win this open Republican seat
Nebraska 02. Kara Eastman to defeat incumbent Don Bacon
New Jersey 02 Amy Kennedy to defeat incumbent Jeff Van Drew
New York 01 Nancy Goroff to defeat. Incumbent Lee Zeldin
New York 02 Jackie Gordon to win this open Republican seat
New York 21 Tedra Cobb* to defeat incumbent Elise Stefanic
New York 24 Dana Balter* to defeat incumbent John Katko
North Carolina 09. Cynthia Wallace to defeat incumbent Dan Bishop
Pennsylvania 01 Christina Finello to defeat incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick
Pennsylvania 10 Eugene DePasquale to defeat incumbent Scott Perry
Texas 02 Sima Ladjervardian to defeat incumbent Dan Crenshaw
Texas 21 Wendy Davis to defeat incumbent Chip Roy
Texas 22 Sri Preston Kalkuri to win this open Republican seat
Texas 23 Gina Ortiz Jones* to win this open Republican seat
Texas 24 Candace Valenzuela to win this open Republican seat
Virginia 05 B. Cameron Webb to win this open Republican seat
Washington 03 Carolyn Long* to defeat incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler
Wisconsin 07 Tricia Zunker to defeat incumbent Tom Tiffany who won the May Special Election
Two errors to correct:
1. Opening Schools. I cited the incoming Dean of Brown’s School of Public Health, but misspelled his first name. He is Ashish Jha.
2. Tennessee US Senate race. I believed veteran helicopter pilot James Macker was the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination and wrote a note on his behalf. Mackler came in third in the Tennessee Democratic Primaruy. The Democratic nominee is a Memphis-based African-American environmental activist Marquita Bradshaw. You can support her at https://www.marquitabradshaw.com