The daughter-in-law of the late Ted Kennedy, Amy Kennedy, has lost her race for Congress after U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew picked up the seat in New Jersey‘s 2nd Congressional District.
Van Drew infuriated Democrats after he switched parties declaring ‘undying support’ to President Donald Trump late last year.
He was finally declared to be the winner in the election on Friday with a more than 15,000-vote margin – 51% to 46%.
Republican incumbent Jeff Van Drew, pictured, has won reelection in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District against Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy
The Associated Press results showed 81% of precincts reporting putting Van Drew’s lead at 15,867 with still tens of thousands of ballots left to count.
Drew’s victory comes despite the fact he switched from the Democratic to the Republican party in December 2019. He appears to have brought supporters along with him.
The Republican victory also means the Kennedy family no longer has a family member in elected federal office after Joe Kennedy lost his bid for a Senate seat in Massachusetts in September.
Amy Kennedy is married to former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy.
Amy Kennedy’s loss marks the end of the Kennedy political dynasty’s 60-year run in Congress. She is the wife of Former United States Representative, Patrick Kennedy
As more ballots were counted on Friday, Van Drew picked up more ground increasing his margin.
Van Drew gave a victory speech in Sea Isle City Tuesday night, although at that point, the race was still considered too close to call.
Van Drew caused chaos in the South Jersey political scene after he refused to vote for Trump’s impeachment and decided to switch parties and pledge his ‘undying support’ for Trump, who later endorsed the congressman and held a rally in Van Drew’s home Cape May County.
The Democrats believed they had the perfect candidate to carry out revenge after his political switch, but Van Drew managed to obtain the support of Republicans in the area and even strengthened ties he had built as a Democrat.
Van Drew defeated his opponent by almost 15,400 votes and flipped to the Republican party from the Democrats in December 2019. He is pictured alongside Democratic challenger Amy Kennedy during a debate in October 2020
Michael Suleiman, the chair of the Atlantic County Democrats, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that even with Kennedy’s apparent loss, he had no regrets telling Van Drew last December that a vote against impeachment would result in the loss of party support back home. Indeed, it may have led to Van Drew to switch his party support.
‘Not only do I not regret it, I feel even more justified in light of what Trump has done since the election, including that speech that was teetering on the brink of autocracy,’ Suleiman said on Friday.
‘Van Drew was desperate to keep his seat,’ Suleiman said. ‘Everything he does screams of desperation.’
Amy Kennedy was the daughter-in-law of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, pictured here in 1980
Amy Kennedy’s loss marks the end of the Kennedy political dynasty’s 60-year run in Congress.
Until September, with Joe Kennedy’s defeat, a Kennedy had never lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts.
President John F. Kennedy was elected three times to the U.S. House and twice to the U.S. Senate before being elected president.
Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and re-elected every six years until he died in 2009.
Joe Kennedy ll ran for JFK’s old House seat in 1986, won, and was reelected every election until he opted not to run in 1998.
Until September, a Kennedy had never lost a race for Congress in Massachusetts. Robert Kennedy is pictured left. Senator-elect John F. Kennedy poses for a portrait on November 5, 1952, right
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Watertown, Massachusetts after conceding defeat to incumbent U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, in September