New Jersey state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R) is reportedly preparing to launch a new challenge to Rep. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to reboot COVID-19 plan House Ethics panel reviewing Rep. Malinowski's stock trades Overnight Health Care — US hits new vaccine milestone MORE (D-N.J.) after a narrow defeat in 2020.
Kean began notifying New Jersey Republicans of his plans on Thursday, the New Jersey Globe reported. A formal campaign announcement is expected on July 14.
When he formally enters the race later this month, it will mark Kean’s second run against Malinowski, a second-term congressman who successfully ousted former Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceKean Jr. to run against Malinowski: report Thomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Gun debate to shape 2020 races MORE (R-N.Y.) in 2018.
Kean faced Malinowski in last year’s general election, only to be defeated by a scant 1-point margin.
Speculation has swirled for months that Kean may be eyeing another House bid. He announced in February that he would not run for reelection to his state Senate seat.
Kean is the son of Thomas Kean Sr., a former governor of New Jersey who chaired the 9/11 Commission following the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District is among House Republicans’ top targets of the 2022 cycle, when Democrats will be defending their narrow majority after a series of disappointing losses in 2020.
Malinowski is also particularly vulnerable given upcoming redistricting, as well as the revelation earlier this year that he had failed to disclose up to $1 million in stock trades in tech and medical companies involved in the country’s Covid-19 response.
Malinowski has acknowledged that his failure to disclose his financial activities was a “mistake,” but he has denied acting on any insider information and has said that the trades were made by an outside broker.