CLARK, NJ – State Sen. Tom Kean launched his 2020 campaign for New Jersey's 7th Congressional district last night.

He was introduced by his father, former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean Sr.

Kean, a lifelong New Jersey resident who grew up in Livingston and a resident of Westfield, announced his candidacy to a packed room at the Clark American Legion Hall with leaders and supporters from throughout the district. 

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“For the first time in a long time, we face a moment where influential politicians in Washington want to put us on a path that could upend much of what we know and cherish - including remaking the greatest economy the world has ever known,” Kean said.

The 50-year-old Kean is out to recapture the Seventh Congressional seat in the 2020 election from Democrat Tom Malinowski, who defeated four-term incumbent Republican Leonard Lance in 2018. Lance, a resident of Hunterdon County, also  served in the New Jersey Assembly and Senate before heading to Washington.

"I'm running for Congress not just because of what I am concerned about, but whom I am concerned about. With every day that passes, I become more fiercely protective over the opportunities that my two daughters and everyone in their generation may not have, when they're older. 

“We simply cannot sit by as DC politicians advocate for the false policies that history has discarded,” he continued. “We must take action to steer our country in a better direction. Today’s leaders need to protect tomorrow’s opportunities.”

Two senior Somerset County Republicans heartily endorsed Kean’s candidacy.

Former state Assemblyman and Somerset County Freeholder Jack Ciattarelli, a resident of Hillsborough who was defeated in the Republican primary for governor two years ago by former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, thinks Kean has what it takes to represent the 7th District in Washington.

“Tom Kean declaring his candidacy for Congress in the 7th Congressional  District is a very exciting development for all of the citizens who reside there,” he said.

“He’s a lifelong citizen of the district and he knows what matters most to his constituents,” Ciattarelli added. “My personal view is that Tom’s positions on the various issues of the day align perfectly with the views of the citizens of the 7th Congressional District."

State Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, (R-16th)  has served with Kean in both the Assembly and the Senate.

“Tom will make an excellent congressman,” the veteran lawmaker said.

“He is moderate on social issues and conservative on fiscal issues,” Bateman added.

“We need people in Washington that have common sense and who represent traditional American values,” he continued. “Tom has done a tremendous job and has worked in Trenton with the Democrats, reaching across the aisle to get things done; I told him I will do anything I can to help him get elected.

“He knows the district and comes from a family where public service is an honor. He will carry out that tradition,” Bateman said.

The Kean family is one of the oldest and most distinguished American families and has has a lengthy pedigree of elected office and public service. His father is Thomas Kean Sr. is former governor of New Jersey. His grandfather is Robert Kean, a former Congressman from New Jersey. His great-grandfather, Hamilton Fish Kean, and great-great-uncle, John Kean, were both United States Senators.

His grandmother's family are descendants of Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch colonial Governor of New Amsterdam, now New York. His great-grandmother, Katharine Winthrop, was a direct descendant of John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He is also a direct descendant of Thomas Dudley, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and a signer of Harvard College's charter.

His second great-great-uncle was Hamilton Fish, a United States Senator, Governor of New York, and U.S. Secretary of State. He is also a relative of William Livingston, the first governor of New Jersey.

Kean is the sitting Senate Republican Leader in the New Jersey State Senate. During his time in the state legislature, Kean has focused on long-term strategies for an affordable state and a better future. He has been a champion of job creation and finding innovative solutions to grow our economy. Some of his past recognitions for his efforts include the NJ Business & Industry Association’s Paul L. Troast Award for outstanding contributions to the State of New Jersey and its business community (2010), NJ Small Business Development Centers, NJ Small Business Advocate (2011) and NJ Chamber of Commerce Legislator of the Year (2009). 

Kean continued, "I have always put people first and allowed them to make the best use of their own hard-earned paychecks. When we relax the reins of government, our families, our local businesses and our economies thrive."

“Our nation’s future has always been bright. And I’m running for Congress because I want to keep us on a path towards that beacon,” Kean said. 

Kean has proven to be a strong candidate in the past. In 2006, he was the most competitive Republican challenger candidate for U.S. Senate in the country. In the process he raised nearly $8 million and won the current NJ-7 portion of the state by 12%. In his last six legislative elections, Kean has captured victory by wide margins. 

Republicans currently out-register Democrats in the 7th Congressional district by over 5,000 voters.