Obama State Department official to run for House in NJ

Obama State Department official to run for House in NJ
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Tom Malinowski, a longtime human rights activist and assistant secretary of State under former President Obama, is tossing his hat into the ring for one of the top House races in the country.

Malinowski announced his decision to take on Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) in a tweet that linked to his campaign website, which at this point only contains a short statement.


"I’ve spent my life in public service- as an Assistant Secretary of State under President Obama and on the National Security Council under President Clinton. I’ve defended human rights, equality, and the rule of law," Malinowski wrote on his website.


"Now, those values are threatened by a president governing far outside of American norms along with a Congressman who can’t be counted on. I’ve always fought for what is right- that’s why we’re going to win."

Lance's 7th District is one of the Democratic Party's top targets in 2018, thanks in no small part to the fact that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro Chelsea Clinton: Pics of Trump getting vaccinated would help him 'claim credit' MORE won the suburban Philadelphia district in 2016. Lance also voted against the GOP's health-care bill, a decision that has helped to burnish his moderate credentials but could provoke frustration from the right.

Malinowski most recently served as Obama's assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, jumping over to the government after a long stint as the Washington director with Human Rights Watch. He'll join a crowded Democratic primary for the right to run against Lance, with five Democratic challengers in the race.