Atlantic County freeholder announces run for Congress to oppose Rep. Van Drew

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A Democratic Atlantic County freeholder has officially joined the race to run for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District.

The current representative for District 2 is Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who was elected to Congress in 2018 as a Democrat, but has recently switched parties to become a Republican.

Freeholder Ashley Bennett made her announcement as a candidate Friday morning at the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pleasantville. She is the first elected official on the Democratic side to enter the race.

On Monday law professor Brigid Harrison announced her intentions to run for this seat - she's considered by some experts as a frontrunner in the early stages of the race.

RELATED: Van Drew officially leaves Democratic party, joins GOP 

Bennett says Van Drew’s decision to change parties helped lead her to make her announcement.

“I intend to run and to hear the voters because the conventions have not happened, let’s be clear. And voters have an opportunity to support who they would like to support. And so, by any means, this is not already wrapped up. It’s only just begun,” Bennett says.

District 2 encompasses the majority of southern New Jersey and skews more on a conservative side.

Rep. Van Drew was the only New Jersey Democrat to vote against impeaching President Donald Trump – a move that earned Van Drew praise from the president.

Van Drew announced he was joining the Republican Party Thursday, with Trump at his side.

But Van Drew will also have to face at least three challengers on the Republican ticket when New Jersey’s primary election is held June 2, 2020.

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