Politics

New Jersey’s New Congressional Map Locks Out One Democrat

(Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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A map approved Wednesday by the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission creates a tough road to re-election for Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski while shoring up the districts of three other Democrats.

State Supreme Court Justice John E. Wallace Jr. broke a tie on the commission, choosing a Democrat proposed map that will likely create a 9-3 House delegation. New Jersey’s current delegation consists of 10 Democrats and two Republicans.

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones Jr. cheered the new map.

“This map sets us on a path to victory in 2022 and our New Jersey Democratic State Committee will now shift our focus to working closely with each of our congressional campaigns to build capacity, connect with voters and bring out the support needed to win these seats and help Democrats hold the majority in the House of Representatives,” he said in a statement.

Malinowski’s Seventh District would move from one President Joe Biden won by 10 points in 2020 to one he won by four, according to Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman. The Seventh adds Warren County, where Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli won 64% of the vote in November, and loses parts of heavily Democratic Union County, where Gov. Phil Murphy received 61% of the vote. (RELATED: Murphy Narrowly Wins Re-Election In Nail-Biter New Jersey Governor’s Race)

First elected in 2018, Malinowski won re-election in 2020 by one point. He has been hobbled by repeated violations of the STOCK Act and a subsequent ethics investigation.

The newly-drawn districts of Democratic Reps. Andy Kim, Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherill all supported Biden by more than 10 points. Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s Second District becomes more friendly to the GOP.

Republican Rep. Chris Smith announced shortly after the maps were finalized that he would move from the Third District to the new Fourth after his hometown was drawn into Kim’s district.