However, his meager 2020 re-election victory against Republican Senator Tom Kaine Jr., Democratic tension over the current political environment, Kane’s ties to Republicans on the redistricting committee, and a scandal over his stock trades make Malinowski, who is seeking a third-term , an obvious candidate to be thrown under the bus.
Malinowski, who represents District 7 in central New Jersey, is likely to face a rematch next year against Kane, a scion of a centuries-old political dynasty he defeated in 2020 by just over one percentage point — the closest reelection margin of any Democratic House. Member of the state.
“Making our district safe for a descendant of any political dynasty would be unacceptable to the citizens of NJ7,” Malinowski’s supporter, Miriam Koehler, a resident of the district, said during a virtual meeting of the redistricting committee on November 20. “Please don’t sacrifice us.”
No other member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation has had such a turnout from supporters at redistricting meetings as Malinowski. That has alarmed some Democratic commissioners, according to two sources familiar with the process they believe Malinowski is orchestrating.
Malinowski’s camp denies this.
New Jersey’s congressional boundaries are drawn every 10 years by a 13-member panel of six Democrats, six Republicans, and a cut-off member appointed by the state Supreme Court: This year, the breakup is former state Supreme Court Justice John Wallace Jr., a registered Democrat. The commission has until the second week of January to come up with a map of 12 roughly equal counties to reflect the state’s demographic shift.
Although Republicans won the process in 2011, mapping out a map that initially split the US House delegation to New Jersey, 6-6, Republican commissioners at the time did not anticipate the voters’ backlash against former President Donald Trump.
The delegation shifted slightly in favor of the Democrats after the 2016 election before the Democrats secured an 11-1 majority after the 2018 midterm elections. Democrats now have an 11-2 majority after Representative Jeff Van Drew (RNJ) switched parties.
District Seven, an affluent and well-educated district in central Jersey, was considered safe for Republicans until the middle of Trump’s 2018 term, when he defeated Malinowski for 10 years. Republican Party Chairman Leonard Lance – something Malinowski’s supporters have repeatedly emphasized during their testimony before the committee.
“People should not be punished for the work we have done to motivate our neighbors,” Lasse Rzeczowski, a Malinowski supporter, told the committee during an in-person meeting on November 13. nature of this area.
Pro-Malinovsky witnesses focused on the same message: He kept the district largely intact while adding two Democratic-leaning towns from Union County to support its need to add thousands of residents. Ten years ago, they say, the county was drawn to an incumbent Republican candidate, but it has since become very competitive and it must remain that way.
District Democrats won the last presidential election – Hillary Clinton by 1 percentage point in 2016 and Joe Biden by 10 points in 2020.
However, Democrats know Malinowski is probably the most turbulent member of the 2022 midterm elections.
Months after winning re-election in 2020, Malinowski came under media scrutiny for failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock trades and short selling shares.
Recognizing Malinowski’s potential weakness and amid rumors that Democrats would be willing to sacrifice him to support other Democrats in their swing districts, all six Democratic district leaders from District Seven issued a proactive statement in May, declaring “the idea that we would be willing to offer Congressman Malinovsky’s 10-year removal from a seat.” years is downright absurd.”
But since then, Malinovsky’s fate has not improved.
Days after the May press release, Republicans appointed redistricting commissioners — two of them were appointed by Kane, the outgoing minority leader in the state Senate who will challenge Malinowski again in 2022. Republican redistricting executive director Harrison Neely was an adviser Ken. 2020 campaign against Malinowski.
At the same time, the stock-trading scandal advanced, with the Office of Congressional Ethics finding “fundamental reason to believe” that Malinowski violated federal conflict-of-interest rules or laws, and the news erupted scrutiny by the House Committee on Ethics. This prompted Republicans to raise the possibility of infighting among Democrats.
“Tom Malinowski’s scandal-ridden penchant for profiting from a pandemic makes it an easy target for New Jersey Democrats to sacrifice in the redistricting process,” Republican National Congress Committee spokeswoman Camille Gallon said in a statement.
Then last month, New Jersey’s gubernatorial and state legislative elections turned out to be closer than expected, with Democratic Governor Phil Murphy narrowly winning reelection and the Democratic state’s legislative majority shrinking, foreshadowing the difficult midterm re-election of three other New Jersey Democrats. since then. In 2016, the seats held by the Republican Party were overturned: Josh Gotheimer, Andy Kim and Mickey Sherrill. All of their districts voted for Murphy’s Republican challenger, Jack Ciatarelli.
But it was a tweet by Dave Wasserman, Cook Political Reporting Editor, a redistricting expert and Malinowski native, that led to the current backlash from Malinowski supporters.
Wasserman mapped what the county could look like, based on what he had heard from people involved in the redistricting process. According to that map, District 7 will include all of northwestern New Jersey, and will be located in some of the more conservative areas of Sherrill and Gottheimer counties while Kim will lose the redder area in his district.
“The Democrats I spoke with now believe they will be lucky to emerge with the 9D-3R split in 2022 (versus the 10D-2R now), which increases the chances of them striking a deal with the GOP commissioners to throw #NJ07 Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) under the bus to support #NJ03And #NJ05 And #NJ11, ” Wasserman tweeted.
In a statement, Malinowski spokesman Nari Ketodat played down the speculation by Wasserman.
He said, “We trust the process and everyone involved. CD07 residents have been bombarded with political reports all year long speculating that their district is on cut-off. These public hearings are their chance to fight back and they take it.”
But a source close to Malinowski, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Wasserman’s tweet “ignited the whole thing,” though it reduced the level of coordination by the congressman’s office with those who went ahead of the redistricting committee, saying supporters asked how they could help, “and we explained to them that you can testify.”
Politico reached out to some Democrats involved in the redistricting process, but they declined to comment publicly. However, they privately expressed their annoyance at what they saw as Malinowski’s inundation of meetings with sympathetic witnesses often chanting the same points. They also denied the existence of any plan to sacrifice a member of Congress.
The redistricting process is expected to reach its climax this month, as commissioners will look at a yet-to-be-determined location to draw the circuit lines.
Wasserman said in a phone interview that he doubted the final map of District VII would look like the one he drew, but it was “the basic structure of a plan that would essentially sacrifice Malinowski.”
“Historically, the redistricting committee was meant to protect incumbents rather than just partisan calculus,” he said. There are other Democrats with close allies on the committee. Malinowski was never a mechanical democrat. And in that case he can be punished for that.”