First-term Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski looks to defend his seat against Republican Tom Kean, Jr. in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District

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  • First-term Rep. Tom Malinowski will face Tom Kean Jr. in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District.
  • The district is located in the northwestern region of the state and includes all of Hunterdon County and parts of Essex, Warren, Morris, Union, and Somerset counties.
  • According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Malinowski has raised $4.2 million — double the amount of Kean Jr.
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First-term Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski looks to defend his seat against Tom Kean Jr. in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District.

The candidates

Malinowski, the incumbent, is a Polish immigrant and is the former assistant secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under the Obama administration. Under the Clinton administration, Malinowski acted as the senior director of the National Security Council where he oversaw foreign policy speechwriting for President Bill Clinton. 

Kean, Malinowski's Republican challenger, is the sitting minority leader in the New Jersey Senate — a position Kean has held since 2008. He was previously elected to the New Jersey Senate in 2003 and was previously a representative for the same district for two years before leaving to join the Senate. 

In 2013, New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie attempted to oust Kean from his Senate minority leader position, but failed after fellow Republicans in the New Jersey Senate re-elected Kean in a 10-6 vote.

Malinowski ran unopposed in the district's Democratic primaries, while Kean handily defeated his two opponents after receiving 79% of the Republican primary vote.

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The district

New Jersey's 7th Congressional District is located in the northwestern region of the state. This suburban, relatively wealthy district includes all of Hunterdon County and parts of Essex, Warren, Morris, Union, and Somerset counties.

Unlike New Jersey's 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts in the southern part of the state, two swing Obama-Trump districts, New Jersey's 7th District voted for Romney and Clinton.

It flipped from voting for 2012 GOP nominee presidential nominee Mitt Romney by six points to voting for 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by a margin of one percentage point, according to the Daily Kos. 

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Malinowski has raised $6.4 million, spent $5.7 million, and has around $759,000 in cash on hand while Kean has raised $3.5 million, has spent $2.8 million, and has around $641,000 in cash on hand.

What some of the experts say

The race between Malinowski and Kean is rated as "leans Democratic" by The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and "likely Democratic" by Inside Elections.

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