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Andy Kim (politician)

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Andy Kim
Official portrait, 2018
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byTom MacArthur
Personal details
Born
Andrew Kim

(1982-07-12) July 12, 1982 (age 41)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse
Kammy Lai
(m. 2012)
Children2
EducationDeep Springs College
University of Chicago (BA)
Magdalen College, Oxford (MPhil, DPhil)
WebsiteHouse website
Campaign website
Academic background
ThesisTransnational Advocacy Networks and Humanitarian Intervention (2010)
Doctoral advisorGil Loescher

Andrew Kim (born July 12, 1982) is an American politician and former diplomat who has served as the U.S. representative from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district since 2019. The district encompasses Philadelphia's eastern suburbs along southern and central New Jersey. A member of the Democratic Party, he worked in the U.S. State Department prior to his election to Congress in 2018.

Born in Boston and raised in South Jersey, Kim studied political science at the University of Chicago before attending Magdalen College, Oxford. Shortly afterwards, he worked as a civilian advisor at the Department of State, serving in Afghanistan under the Obama Administration. Inspired by Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare, Kim ran against Representative Tom MacArthur in 2018, defeating him in a close general election. The first Democratic Congressman of Korean descent, Kim served three terms in the House.

In September 2023, he announced he would run against Senator Bob Menendez, seeking to unseat him in the Democratic primary amidst Federal bribery charges. In the subsequent primary campaign, Menendez declined to run, and Kim initially faced New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy before she dropped out in March 2024. After successfully petitioning to abolish the "county line" primary ballots, Kim became the Democratic nominee in the 2024 United States Senate election in New Jersey on 4 June 2024.[1] He will face Menendez, who is running as an independent and Republican Curtis Bashaw in the general election.

Early life and career

Kim was born on July 12, 1982, in Boston[2] to Korean immigrant parents and grew up in South Jersey. Kim's father was a geneticist and his mother was a nurse.[3] He was raised in the Marlton section of Evesham Township, New Jersey, and attended Rice Elementary School[4][5] before moving to Cherry Hill and graduating from Cherry Hill High School East in 2000.[6] After two years at Deep Springs College,[3] Kim transferred to the University of Chicago, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2004 with a degree in political science.[7][8]

During college, Kim was an intern at the United States Agency for International Development.[8] He later received a Rhodes Scholarship and a Harry S. Truman Scholarship to study international relations at Magdalen College, Oxford.[3][7] At Oxford, Kim became friends with fellow Rhodes Scholar Pete Buttigieg, now the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.[9]

Kim worked at the U.S. State Department. He served in Afghanistan as a civilian adviser to Generals David Petraeus and John R. Allen before working as a national security adviser under President Barack Obama.[3][10] Kim served as a United States National Security Council official.[11][3] After the Sinjar massacre, Kim wrote the plan implemented by Obama to strike ISIS.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2018

A resident of Bordentown Township, New Jersey,[12] Kim ran against two-term incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur in the 2018 United States House of Representatives election after advancing from the June Democratic primary. Kim's campaign manager was Zack Carroll.[3]

Kim was endorsed by Barack Obama,[13] former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden,[14] New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy,[15] and actress Piper Perabo.[16] Kim said he was inspired to run in reaction to MacArthur's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.[17][3]

During the campaign, MacArthur sought to portray Kim as a D.C. elitist and outsider. In an ad run by the New Jersey Republican Party, Kim was described as "Real Fishy" in Wonton font on a picture of dead fish. The ad was criticized for its racial undertones.[10]

The race was considered too close to call on election night, but the next night, an influx of absentee ballots in Burlington County, home to the majority of the district's voters, gave Kim a 2,500-vote lead, prompting him to declare victory.[18] MacArthur conceded eight days later.[19] With a margin of victory of fewer than 4,000 votes, or slightly over 1% of votes cast, this was New Jersey's closest congressional race.[3][20][21] Kim became the first Asian American U.S. representative from New Jersey.[22]

2020

A headshot of Kim taken during his second term in 2021.

Kim ran for reelection in 2020. In the general election, he faced Republican nominee David Richter, a businessman. Richter originally planned to run against then-Democrat Jeff Van Drew in the second district, but after Van Drew switched parties, Richter decided to run against Kim in the third district.[23] Although the race was projected to be close, Kim won by 53% to 45%,[24] even though the district again voted for Donald Trump.[22]

2022

After redistricting, Kim's district became considerably more Democratic: Joe Biden would have won the reconfigured district by 14.1 percentage points in 2020, and Phil Murphy would have won it by 1.6 percentage points in 2021.[25] Kim won by a margin of 11.8 percentage points (55.4 to 43.6), defeating the Republican candidate, yacht manufacturer Robert Healey, Jr.[26]

Tenure

Kim as part of Congressional delegation to Taiwan in August 2022.

Kim is the first Democratic member of Congress of Korean descent and the second overall after Republican Jay Kim (no relation).[10]

Kim's first official action during his tenure was to vote for Nancy Pelosi as United States Speaker of the House, but he voted against her nomination during a November 2018 Democratic caucus meeting.[27] He cited the need to reopen the government amid the ongoing government shutdown for his decision to back Pelosi.[28]

In February 2019, Kim introduced his first bill, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act (SAVE Act).[29] In May, the SAVE Act passed the House, 234–183. The bill, designed to lower prescription drug costs and included a provision to prohibit brands from stopping generic versions of drugs from being sold on the market, was not expected to pass the Senate.[30]

In June 2019, Kim co-sponsored an amendment to stop a pay raise for members of Congress.[31]

In April 2020, House leadership appointed Kim to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus crisis.[32]

Kim voted with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time in the 117th Congress, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis. This results in a Biden Plus/Minus score of +45 indicating significantly higher support for Biden's priorities than would be expected given the makeup of his district.[33] He supported The Inflation Reduction Act, The American Rescue Plan, and the CHIPS and Science Act.[34]

During his tenure, Kim made an effort to host at least one Congressional town hall a month.[35]

In 2021 and 2022, Kim was included on Gold House's annual "A100" list, which honors those of Asian Pacific descent, "who made the greatest impact on culture and society over the past year".[36][37]

Policing

In 2020, Kim co-sponsored and voted for the Justice in Policing Act.[38]

Ban on insider trading in congress

Kim speaking at a press conference supporting a ban on Congressional stock trading in May 2023.

Kim supports banning members of Congress from trading stock, saying in December 2021 that he "disagree[d] strongly" with speaker Nancy Pelosi, who defended the practice.[39]

2020 presidential election

On January 7, 2021, after voting to certify the 2020 presidential election, Kim gained widespread media attention for a photograph of him cleaning up personal belongings left behind after the January 6 United States Capitol attack.[22][3][40][41][42] He donated the blue suit he wore in the photo to the Smithsonian Institution, which was collecting items from the riot.[43]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

2024 U.S. Senate election

Primary election

Kim in February 2024.

On September 23, 2023, Kim announced that he would mount a primary challenge to incumbent Democratic senator Bob Menendez in the 2024 Senate election, the day after Menendez was indicted on federal corruption charges.[3][47][48] Kim was the first major Democratic to challenge Menendez, and did not first notify any state or county Democratic party officials.[3] He said he felt disappointed by the corruption charges, and that he sought to restore integrity in politics.[49] Kim was soon challenged by New Jersey First Lady and former Goldman Sachs analyst Tammy Murphy, the wife of incumbent Governor Phil Murphy.[50] Her candidacy was accused of being nepotistic, with some papers describing Kim as an "underdog" and "insurgent" taking on the "New Jersey political machine".[51][52][53][54][55][56][57] He released his first campaign ad on November 14, 2023, which showed him interacting with voters in a unscripted conversation.

Early on in the race he picked up some endorsements, most notably from Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, various U.S. Representatives such as Brendan Boyle and Grace Meng (from Pennsylvania and New York respectively), along with various local party chapters, mayors and some unions.[58][59] Additionally, he was endorsed by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and former New Jersey Congressman Tom Malinowski; both had worked with Kim during his time at the State Department.[60][61] When Kim was endorsed by the College Democrats of New Jersey, they were reportedly pressured to endorse Murphy instead. Kim criticized these efforts, stating "We seek fairness in our democracy and must not deviate when it advantages us."[62] He later accused "party elites" of trying to "put their thumb on the scale" in the election.[63] The National Organization for Women (NOW) endorsed Kim over Murphy in late February.[64]

Kim speaking in March 2024.

After Murphy declined to participate in what would have been the first primary debate, Kim discussed his candidacy and platform alone with the New Jersey Globe on February 4.[65] The two debated on February 18, in a live streamed event again hosted by the New Jersey Globe.[66][67] Polls conducted since October showed Kim maintaining a lead over Murphy with a plurality of support. On February 10, Kim secured New Jersey's Monmouth County Democratic Party nomination, the first in the state, having won the county convention with 265 votes to 181 for Murphy.[68][69] The result was seen as an upset, as it was Murphy's home county, and various county officials had already endorsed her.[70] Kim later won the endorsement of his home county of Burlington in February 24 with 90% of the vote.[71][72] Ultimately, Kim would win 17 of the 19 county line endorsements.[73]

On February 26, Kim's legal team filed a federal lawsuit in the District Court of New Jersey, seeking the abolition of the "county line" ballot system, being joined by opponents Patricia Campos-Medina and Larry Hamm.[3] Kim referred to the system as "unconstitutional" and sought a general redesign of ballots.[74][75] After Murphy dropped out of the race, Kim said he would continue his efforts against the county line procedure.[76] Politico reported Kim would stand to benefit from the line due to a lack of serious opposition, but the lawsuit went forward.[77] Federal judge Zahid Quraishi struck down the county line on March 29, and directed clerks to instead print ballots with candidates organized by office in randomized order for the 2024 primary election.[78] The Third Circuit Court of Appeals declined to block the ruling on April 4, 2024, ahead of a deadline to finalize ballot designs for the primary on April 5.[79]

On March 24, 2024, Murphy announced that she was suspending her campaign.[80] In his statement after Murphy announced she was dropping out, Kim asked supporters to show respect to his former rival, and reminded them that “we are all a part of something bigger than all of us.” After Murphy’s campaign suspension, Kim is considered a presumptive nominee, and many predicted an easy victory in the general election.[81] Various news outlets, including The Hill, considered Murphy dropping out a victory for Kim against "machine politics" in New Jersey.[82][83][84] The campaign development, along with the Menendez scandal, helped boost Kim's campaign further and spurred hope of greater reform.[85][86]

On June 4, Kim won the Democratic primary, defeating Patricia Campos-Medina and Larry Hamm with 75% of the vote.[87]

General election

The same day as the primary, incumbent Senator Bob Menendez, who is still on trial for bribery, filed to run for re-election in the general election.[88] Although still a registered Democrat, Menendez will appear on the ballot as an independent.[89] Curtis Bashaw, a real estate developer and former director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, won the Republican primary on 7 June. Upon winning his primary, Kim criticized Menendez for running, and attacked Bashaw for his endorsement of Donald Trump in the presidential election.[90][91]

Political positions

Kim with other House Democrats advocating for gun violence legislation in December 2023.

Kim is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[45]

Kim supports providing aid to the Ukrainian military amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has been ongoing since February 2022.[92] Kim referred to the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny as a murder.[93] He called the 2023 Camp David Principles between the US, Japan, and South Korea ‘historic’.[94] Kim voted in favor of three military aid package supplementals for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan respectively in April 2024, along with most Democrats.[95][96][97]

When Roe v. Wade (1973) was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022, Kim said he was "outraged" by the decision, referring to it as an "injustice".[98] In 2024, he said he would vote to codify reproductive rights into federal law. Kim has described himself as "proudly pro-choice", and believes reproductive healthcare is an "essential human right".[99] In late December 2022, Kim voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act enshrining interracial and same-sex marriage protections into federal law.[100] He co-sponsored the Equality Act, which would guarantee civil rights protections, amend existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected statuses, prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in public spaces.[101] Kim has also attended pride parades across New Jersey.[102][103]

While Kim supports universal healthcare, he is open to different options, such as single-payer or multi-payer systems.[104]

He said the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission "significantly damaged democracy", and supports overturning it.[105] He has been endorsed by the End Citizens United political action committee.[106] The group also launched several ads for his 2024 Senate campaign.[107]

Kim supports investing in clean energy and electrifying transit systems.[108] He was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club in the 2024 Senate election.[109][110] Kim believes climate change is a national security crisis.[111]

He supports universal background checks and an assault weapons ban as a way of preventing gun violence,[112][113] and has an "F" grade from the NRA Political Victory Fund.[114][115][116] Kim was named a Gun Sense Candidate by Moms Demand Action in 2024.[117]

Kim has to raise servicemember pay every year through the NDAA, and supports doubling funding for veteran suicide prevention and outreach programs.[118]

He supports ending the filibuster in the United States Senate.[3]

Personal life

Kim and his family with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, 2016.

Kim married Kammy Lai, a tax attorney, in 2012.[119][120] They have two sons, one born in 2015 and the other born in 2017.[121][122] His family lives down the street from his childhood home in Moorestown, South Jersey.[123]

Kim is a Presbyterian.[124]

One of Kim's passions is making bagels, and has said that were he not a politician, he would have started his own bagel shop. He taught bagel making classes over Zoom in April 2021 in an effort to raise money for his 2022 re-election campaign.[125][126]

Electoral history

Andy Kim in 2018 before the 116th Congress.
2018 Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Kim 28,514 100
Total votes 28,514 100
New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Kim 153,473 50.0
Republican Tom MacArthur (incumbent) 149,500 48.7
Constitution Larry Berlinski 3,902 1.3
Total votes 306,875 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican
2020 Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Kim (incumbent) 79,417 100.0
New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Kim (incumbent) 229,840 53.2
Republican David Richter 196,327 45.5
For the People Martin Weber 3,724 0.9
Constitution Robert Shapiro 1,871 0.4
Total votes 431,762 100.0
Democratic hold
Andy Kim in 2022 during the 117th Congress.
2022 Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Kim (incumbent) 39,433 92.8
Democratic Reuven Hendler 3,062 7.2
Total votes 42,495 100.0
New Jersey's 3rd congressional district, 2022
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Kim (incumbent) 150,498 55.5
Republican Bob Healey 118,415 43.6
Libertarian Christopher Russomanno 1,347 0.5
Independent Gregory Sobocinski 1,116 0.4
Total votes 271,376 100.0
Democratic hold

See also

References

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  2. ^ "KIM, Andy – Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Maag, Christopher (April 27, 2024). "Nobody Saw Andy Kim Coming. That's What He Was Counting On". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Andy Kim Raises Over $1.1 million in First Six Months of 2019", Insider NJ, July 12, 2019. Accessed July 27, 2020. "Congressman Kim grew up in Marlton, NJ, and lives in the district with his wife, Kammy, and two young children."
  5. ^ "Andy Kim to Hold Campaign Kickoff Rally in Marlton". Insider NJ. March 2, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2020. Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) will officially launch his reelection campaign at a rally in Marlton on Saturday March 14th, at 2pm. The rally will be held at Rice Elementary, the public school the congressman attended in the Kings Grant neighborhood where he grew up.
  6. ^ Rosenberg, Amy S. "Andy Kim's campaign took off in the Mt. Laurel Wegmans. Now Kim, 36, is trying to unseat Rep. Tom MacArthur, New Jersey's Trumpiest congressman", The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 27, 2018. Accessed November 9, 2018. "He and the super PACs supporting him have been relentless, running TV ads calling out Kim for taking a tax break on his D.C. condo after moving back to New Jersey and suggesting the Marlton-born and Cherry Hill East High graduate is 'not one of us.'"
  7. ^ a b "Two University of Chicago students win Rhodes Scholarships". University of Chicago. November 21, 2004. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
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  118. ^ "Serving Our Veterans, Servicemembers & Military Families". www.andykim.com. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
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  120. ^ "NJ congressman builds Lego model of Star Wars ship with sons". Yahoo News. May 7, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2024.
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External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district

2019–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from New Jersey
(Class 1)

2024
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
253rd
Succeeded by