Tom Kean Jr. on his run for Congress

BY Briana Vannozzi, Senior Correspondent |

Last week, state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. formally announced his run for the 7th Congressional District. If he wins the primary, Kean will face off against first-term Democratic incumbent Tom Malinowski.

Kean sat down with correspondent Briana Vannozzi to discuss his run for Congress, a bipartisan vision for political cooperation, his family’s New Jersey political legacy, the Mueller Report and more.

At the kick-off event for his campaign, Kean Jr. called himself as a “Kean Republican,” a reference to his father, Tom Kean, who served as the governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990. But, what exactly does the phrase mean?

“It means an individual who puts people before politics, who stands up to make sure that people can have a paycheck, that people can afford to live in this district. That we can stand up for the future of this district and the people that you represent and that’s an important standard,” said Kean Jr.

Kean focused on a bringing a bipartisan message to Congress that is lacking.

“What people see when they look at the Congress is they see that Congress is broken. People are talking at each other, not with each other. They’re not trying to find the common ground, rushing in to find the common ground on national security issues. Not rushing in to find common ground on affordability issues,” he said.

At the top of the ticket in 2020 will be President Donald Trump. How does Kean plan to run and win as a moderate Republican?

“This is a race about the people’s House. Not about the White House,” said Kean Jr. “There are things on which I agree with the president on — obviously is economic growth. He’s helped veterans in ways none of his predecessors have. He focused on international trade and a number of other fronts, he’s been a real standard bearer in those regards. On other issues like some of the 4 a.m. tweets on the SALT issue, on the Gateway Project — I do disagree.”

Kean also weighs in on the recently released Mueller Report.

“There was no collusion. But, the underlying issue is this: since 2014 President Obama and others knew that there was Russian attempts to hijack our elections. And one of the things you see from a national security perspective is whether it’s our family bank accounts, whether it’s corporations or whether it’s the security of our elections — we’ve got people in the international sphere who are trying to disrupt our way of life.