NJ Politics Digest: New Congressman Changes Mind and Supports Pelosi

U.S. Representative-elect Andy Kim (D-NJ) reacts after drawing a number during an office lottery for new members of Congress on Capitol Hill November 30, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Representative-elect Andy Kim (D-NJ) reacts after drawing a number during an office lottery for new members of Congress on Capitol Hill November 30, 2018 in Washington, D.C. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Half of the state’s newly elected Democratic members of the House of Representatives withheld their votes as California Rep. Nancy Pelosi reclaimed the post of House Speaker on Thursday. Newcomer Andy Kim was not one of them.

Kim, who represents Ocean and Burlington counties, supported Nancy Pelosi’s bid for Speaker of the House despite pledging to do the contrary during his campaign.

Kim told the Burlington County Times that his vote was in the best interest of his constituents. But, as the Times noted, Kim—whose district includes the sprawling Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst—is also hoping to land a spot on the House Armed Services Committee. Supporting Pelosi, who won the speakership by two votes, could set Kim up to achieve that goal.

Pelosi was also supported by the state’s veteran Democratic House members, as well as freshman Reps. Tom Malinowski, according to reports.

New Rep. Mikie Sherrill, who’d also like a seat on the Armed Services Committee, didn’t support Pelosi, while freshman Rep. Jeff Van Drew also kept his campaign pledge to withhold support, voting “no” on Pelosi’s nomination. Under House rules, his vote was changed to “present,” according to reports.
During his campaign, Kim said new leadership was needed in Washington, so he would not back Pelosi. He later voted against her during a closed door Democratic meeting in November, according to the New Jersey Globe.

Quote of the Day: “You run the risk of waking up the public with this kind of thing.  It’s a mistake to think that this will blow over. It’s a mistake to think this will be a one-day story. It will not. It will continue to be a story until the truth comes out,” — Micah Rasmussen, director of Rider University’s Rebovich Institute, on a political action group aligned with Gov. Phil Murphy reneging on a pledge to reveal its major donors

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NJ Politics Digest: New Congressman Changes Mind and Supports Pelosi