Two Democrats Already Running Hard Against MacArthur

Expect Grueling 2018 Campaign in 3rd Congressional District
Jul 04, 2017

The next congressional general election is 16 months away.

The next congressional primaries in New Jersey aren’t until June 2018.

But Democratic candidates, sensing blood after Congressman Tom MacArthur became a key GOP cog in the attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, are already busy swimming in the New Jersey 3rd District’s waters.

MacArthur’s district includes large swaths of Burlington and Ocean counties, including Barnegat Township. One declared Democratic candidate for MacArthur’s job, Andy Kim, has already visited the Barnegat Democratic Club; a second, Katie Hartman, will speak at the club’s July 26 meeting.

Kim, a second-generation American who grew up in the district, sports an impressive resume. The 34-year-old was a Rhodes scholar and Truman scholar and earned a Ph.D in International Relations from Oxford University. Before that he studied at Deep Springs College in California and the University of Chicago. He served two years in the Obama White House as the director for Iraq in the National Security Council, where he was the point person for coordinating the counter-ISIS war. He previously had a stint in Afghanistan, where he served as a diplomat and strategic advisor to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen during their time as commanding generals. He’s also worked at the Pentagon; the State Department; USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the government agency that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid; and for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Hartman is a lifelong resident of the district who has spent the past 26 years as a civil rights attorney. She’s currently the managing partner in the Moorestown office of the law firm Attorneys Hartman. She’s been admitted not only to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania bars but also to federal bars of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.

So far it is only Kim who has apparently attracted the MacArthur campaign’s notice. A web video titled “JV Andy,” paid for by Tom MacArthur for Congress Inc., implies that Kim was the man who fed President Obama the infamous line that ISIS was a JV team.

“JV Andy is going to need a lot more than $50,000 (an amount Kim raised on a crowd funding site to launch his campaign) and tired DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) talking points to run from his record as the Washington, D.C. bureaucrat behind Barack Obama’s failed ISIS strategy,” said MacArthur strategist Chris Russell, upon releasing the video. “He had one job in Washington already and he failed miserably at it. Why give him a second one…

“Our campaign will be one of the most well-funded, sharpest, and toughest in the nation. Based on his boilerplate platform and last stint in DC, JV Andy Kim isn’t close to ready for the varsity.”

If the MacArthur campaign is pinning Kim to Obama, the Kim campaign is gluing MacArthur to Trump.

“Time for the people to have a voice – I’m officially running against TrumpCare 2.0 author Tom MacArthur” he tweeted when officially announcing his campaign.

Get ready for a long and potentially very nasty year-and-a-third-long campaign.

— Rick Mellerup

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