[Originally in The Observer — June 5th 2018]
Tom Malinowski, a former assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama, has won the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th district.
Malinowski had nearly 69 percent of the vote as of 9:45 p.m., according to the New York Times.
Social worker Peter Jacob garnered 20 percent, while attorney Goutam Jois received nearly 11 percent.
Malinowski will face incumbent Republican Rep. Leonard Lance in the Nov. 6 general election. Lance won his primary with 75 percent of the vote as of 9:45 p.m., the Times reported.
Lance, who has held the seat since 2009, is considered vulnerable this year as Democrats look to seize on President Trump’s unpopularity in New Jersey and make gains in the Republican-controlled House. The Cook Political Report, a Washington-based publication that tracks congressional races, says the district is a “toss up.”
Lance has tried to distance himself from Trump, voting against a GOP bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and against Trump’s tax law.
Malinowski kept up with Lance in fundraising during the primary, with both candidates having brought in more than $1.2 million as of May 16, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Malinowski won the backing of all six county party committees. After winning the endorsement of the Union County Democratic Committee in March, Malinowski’s chief primary opponent, banker Linda Weber, suspended her campaign.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added Malinowski to its Red to Blue program, which provides organizational and fundraising support for select Democratic House candidates