Check out the website:  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 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 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