Amy Kennedy Loses Race to Rep. Jeff Van Drew, Who Switched Parties for President Trump

Another political dynasty is out of Congress — for now, at least.

Democrat Amy Kennedy, a former teacher who married into the Kennedy family, has lost her race for New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District to incumbent Rep. Jeff Van Drew.

Because of Rep. Joe Kennedy III's unsuccessful Senate bid earlier this year, which he pursued instead of re-election in the House of Representatives, Amy's loss means it will be the first time in some 60 years that there will be no Kennedy in Congress.

Van Drew, a former Democrat who switched parties and pledged “undying support” to President Donald Trump, was winning the race with more than 51 percent of the vote to Amy's 46.5 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Van Drew was first elected to the House and switched his affiliation in 2019, after voting against both articles of impeachment against Trump over Trump's Ukraine scandal. 

He later received the president's ringing endorsement during a rally in which Trump said Van Drew had "guts."

Van Drew's attacks on his former party grew in the lead-up up to the election. He gave a four-minute speech at this year's Republican National Convention in which he accused Democrats of having a "radical, socialist agenda.”

Amy, 41, who is married to former congressman Patrick Kennedy (a nephew of President John F. Kennedy), has said she entered the race largely due to her opponent's change of heart about the outgoing president.

"I hadn't thought about running for office until Van Drew said, 'I pledge my undying support to this president," the mom of five told PEOPLE earlier this year. "And that for me was, 'I don't think that's what being a civil servant is about.' "

Amy loss signals at least a temporary end of the storied clan's political work.

“I want to thank the people of South Jersey for your patience over the past several days as we waited for votes to be counted. I spoke with Jeff Van Drew a few moments ago and offered him my congratulations," she said in a statement about her concession. "While this is obviously not the result that I was hoping for, my fight for the people of South Jersey does not end tonight."

She continued: "I am so grateful to them, to my family and friends and to everyone who has supported our campaign with their time, their money or their vote. So, while this race is over, the work that we started back in January was never about me. It was always about the people of South Jersey."

In his own statement after winning, Van Drew, 67, said: "I would like to thank President Trump as well as all of the Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters who stood with me and continued to place their trust in me to fight for them and all of South Jersey in Washington."

In September, Rep. Kennedy lll failed to oust incumbent Sen. Edward Markey in Massachusetts' Democratic primary. It was the first time a member of the well-connected family has lost a run for Congress in the state.

The Kennedy family will likely remain active in politics, of course, and some may still campaign for office in years to come.

Caroline Kennedy, President Kennedy's daughter, and her son, Jack Schlossberg, have been active in the presidential race. They endorsed Joe Biden during an appearance at this year's Democratic National Convention.

The appearance led some to question whether Schlossberg, 27 — whose resume includes a Yale and Harvard education, as well as humanitarian work and time as a Senate page and intern — might have his his own political ambitions.

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