Kim Wins 3rd District Congressional Race

Nov 15, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill Andy Kim

It took a seemingly never-ending ballot count to rival Florida’s or Georgia’s, but Democrat Andy Kim has finally emerged as the winner of New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District race, defeating incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur.

The Associated Press declared Kim the winner on Wednesday afternoon in the district that covers Barnegat Township and part of Stafford Township. MacArthur conceded in a statement issued at 6:49 p.m. that evening.

“Tonight, I called Congressman-Elect Andy Kim to congratulate him on his victory. Enough provisional ballots have been counted to make the outcome clear. My staff and I will work with him to ensure a smooth transition in every way. It has been an honor to represent the people of Ocean and Burlington counties over the last four years, and I am proud to have done so with honesty and integrity,” stated MacArthur.

“My wife Debbie and I have been truly blessed in life, and our commitment to helping others has never been defined by politics or elected office. I am also a firm believer that good can come out of life’s disappointments and I look forward to what the future holds for us. Thank you to all of those who supported me and even those who did not. We must all work together to ensure that America remains the shining city on a hill that President Reagan described so many years ago,” said the congressman, who owns a house in Barnegat Light.

Upon hearing AP had called the race Kim issued a statement of his own.

“This campaign was never about the politics; it was always about the people of New Jersey and who would best advocate for the hopes and needs of our community. Our campaign was about the issues – about affordable health care for all Americans; about fair taxes for New Jersey families; and about a government that works for the people. I look forward to working on these and other key issues while representing my home district with integrity and civility in Washington.”

Kim was in Washington already, joining other congressmen-elect from both parties in a Capital Hill orientation where they learn everything from how to assemble a staff to the location of the Capitol’s bathrooms. He figured prominently in the “class picture” of the scores of new members elected to Congress this past couple of weeks. Standing in the front row of four long lines, the first Korean-American elected to the House of Representatives for 20 years was immediately recognizable.

MacArthur’s future may be in D.C. as well.

Pundits were quick to blame his defeat on being too closely attached to President Trump. His “MacArthur Amendment,” which would have allowed states to back out of Obamacare’s rules on covering pre-existing conditions, helped push the GOP Obamacare repeal vote through the House before it died, thanks to the late John McCain, in the Senate. Another amendment, which allowed persons living in high tax states such as New Jersey to deduct up to $10,000 of state and local taxes (SALT) helped push through GOP tax reform/cut legislation.

Third District voters were not impressed. Kim made health care his biggest issue. He also slammed MacArthur for only allowing $10,000 in deductions as compared the previous deduct-all-state-and-local-taxes standard, noting MacArthur was the only congressman in the Garden State, Republican or Democrat, to vote for the GOP tax plan.

So MacArthur fell on his sword for his party and president. Perhaps, as rumored, they will respond by offering him a job in the administration.

It still isn’t certain if the final numbers are in because Burlington County election officials are still counting provisional ballots, the majority of which are predicted to fall Kim’s way. The latest vote count, though, has Kim with 150,510 votes while MacArthur collected 147,036.

— Rick Mellerup




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