Race to watch: A New Jersey primary fight to fill Andy Kim’s congressional seat

As Andy Kim campaigns for Bob Menendez’s U.S. Senate seat, five Democrats and four Republicans are competing for Kim’s U.S. House seat.

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Dr. Herb Conaway

Dr. Herb Conaway is a candidate for New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

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New Jersey’s primary election takes place Tuesday, June 4.

With U.S. Rep. Andy Kim running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Bob Menendez, who is on trial for corruption, five Democrats and four Republicans have thrown their hats into the ring for Kim’s seat in the 3rd Congressional District. The district includes parts of Burlington, Mercer and Monmouth counties.

On the Democratic side, the race features two state legislators who have been statehouse colleagues for seven years.

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Democrat Herb Conaway

Dr. Herb Conaway is a lifelong resident of Burlington County and has served in the Assembly for 25 years. He has garnered the support of several Democratic groups.

On his website, Conaway said he is running for Congress to ensure New Jersey’s middle-class families can thrive. He said as a congressman, he will work to lessen the tax burden on Garden State residents, protect small businesses and bring more job opportunities to the 3rd District.

Conaway also said he will work to protect women’s rights, the environment and democracy, and fight to lower prescription drug costs.

Democrat Carol Murphy

Carol Murphy
Carol Murphy is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Carol Murphy is the daughter of a Bronze Star U.S. Army Master Sergeant. She said on her website that the values she learned from her father guided her to a life of service.

Her campaign is focused on issues that she has worked on in the legislature, including fighting for the middle class, women’s rights, pay equity, reducing gun violence, affordable prescription drugs for seniors and LGBTQ+ rights.

On her website, Murphy vows to protect the environment, democracy, small businesses and expand access to affordable health care. The Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial Board has endorsed her.

​Democrat Joe Cohn

Joe Cohn
Joe Cohn is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Joe Cohn grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and moved to Philadelphia to get his law degree. He later relocated to a small farm in Lumberton, New Jersey.

On his website, Cohn describes himself as “progressive where it’s productive and moderate where it matters.” He has worked closely with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and the ACLU.

He said his congressional focus will include fighting depolarization, defending democracy, protecting a woman’s right to choose, ensuring a free press and combating censorship. Other issues that he vows to champion are: driving down the cost of prescription drugs, fighting poverty, investing in infrastructure, protecting the environment and improving education.

Democrat Brian Schkeeper

Brian Schkeeper
Brian Schkeeper is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Brian Schkeeper, a public school educator who grew up in a single-parent household in New Jersey, said on his website that he’s running for Congress because when he “sees an area to help, he jumps in.”

Schkeeper is running to expand access, accessibility and affordability to all types of health care as a member of Congress, he promises to make college affordable, elder care manageable and Social Security a viable retirement plan for everyday Americans.

Democrat Sarah Schoengood

Sarah Schoengood
Sarah Schoengood is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Sarah Schoengood on her website and in a digital ad describes herself as a proud New Jerseyan and a small business owner born and raised in the Garden State.

She said she is running to reduce taxes, reinstate the SALT tax deduction, protect social security, Medicare and Medicaid, lower prescription drug prices and fight corporate greed and price gouging. She also vows to work to address climate change and reduce gun violence.

Republican Rajesh Mohan

Rajesh Mohan
Rajesh Mohan is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Dr. Rajesh Mohan, a cardiologist, describes himself as a longstanding New Jersey resident, deeply rooted in his community for over two decades.

On his website, he said his foundational values given to him by his parents emphasize diligence, integrity and a commitment to justice. His platform includes border security, immigration and health care. He wants to prioritize patient well-being and vows to protect Social Security and Medicare.

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Mohan said he will improve the economy by prioritizing domestic manufacturing, supporting small businesses, controlling inflation and promoting sustainable growth.

Republican Shirley Maia-Cusick

Shirley Maia-Cusick
Shirley Maia-Cusick is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Shirley Maia-Cusick, an attorney and immigration consultant, was born in Brazil but immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s and now calls the Garden State home.

She said she knows the power of the American dream first-hand and will work in Congress to expand family values, respect and safety.

On her website, she said she will work to lower taxes, loosen regulations and advocate for investments in the workforce. Maia-Cusick also said she will work to improve and expand education options, repair the immigration system, address crime and prioritize “American” interests.

Republican Gregory Sobocinski

Gregory Sobocinski
Gregory Sobocinski is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Greg Sobocinski is a financial advisor who was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and who grew up in New Jersey. On his website, he describes himself as a Christian, husband, father, businessman, gun owner and someone who believes in the Constitution.

Sobocinski said he would fight to secure the border because “without safety and security, society cannot survive.” His other top priorities include empowering parents, protecting election integrity, protecting women and families, avoiding foreign entanglements and protecting First and Second Amendment rights.

Republican Michael Francis Faccone

Michael Francis Faccone
Michael Francis Faccone is a candidate for New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. (Campaign photo)

Michael Francis Faccone on a Ballotpedia survey said he embodies the quintessential American success story.

He said his campaign is about creating unity and pragmatic solutions to address crime, border security, tax relief, parental rights, education, health care and economic prosperity. His campaign slogan is “We like Mike for U.S. Congress.”

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