Home Island Life Ocean County MacArthur Faces Primary Challenge; Kim to Represent Democrats in Congressional Race

MacArthur Faces Primary Challenge; Kim to Represent Democrats in Congressional Race

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U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur and challenger Andy Kim. (File Photos)
U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur and challenger Andy Kim. (File Photos)

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur will face one primary opponent for the Republican nomination to represent New Jersey’s third congressional district in November’s general election, while his Democratic challenger is running unopposed for the nomination.

Andy Kim, a former Obama administration official who advised the ex-President on international policy, including the conflicts in Iraq and against ISIS, will take on the two-term Republican who has made national headlines for his influence on tax and healthcare policies.

Monday was the filing deadline in New Jersey for congressional candidates to register to run in the state’s June primary. MacArthur will face a challenge from Martin B. Weber, a Barnegat Township first aid officer who is focusing his campaign on veterans’ issues.

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MacArthur and Kim both have the support of their parties in Ocean and Burlington counties. Webser is an outside challenger who did not receive the “line” on the primary ballot.

Democrats have identified the third district, which includes the bulk of Ocean County, as one they believe can be in contention in November, though the district has elected just one Democrat – John Adler in 2008 – in the last century. After the 2010 redistricting, the district shed Democrat-leaning Cherry Hill in exchange GOP-leaning Brick, giving the Republicans a statistical advantage. But Democrats are hoping the historical tradition of midterm elections ushering in opposition party members could bolster their chances. Locally, voters in Brick elected a Democratic mayor in a landslide last year and Toms River – the district’s largest city – elected three Democrats to the township council last year. The statewide gubernatorial election, however, was handily won by Kim Guadagno, the GOP candidate, indicating an uphill battle for Democrats running for non-local offices.

A number of rumored candidates, including Brick mayor John Ducey, who denied rumblings he would run, did not file on Tuesday.

The primary will take place June 5; the general election is set for Nov. 6.