Frank A LoBiondo

Amy Kennedy running to challenge Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey
Kennedy, a mental health advocate, is the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy

Democrat Amy Kennedy, who announced a campaign for congress in New Jersey's 2nd district Monday, is pictured next to her husband, former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and children at a Senate hearing in July 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amy Kennedy announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New Jersey’s 2nd District on Monday.

The wife of former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy is hoping to take on Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who flipped the district from red to blue in the 2018 midterms but has since changed parties and is now a Republican.

Trump announces Jeff Van Drew will become a Republican
Van Drew, as a Democrat, voted against impeaching the president Wednesday night

Rep. Jeff Van Drew is seen in the Capitol during procedural votes related to the articles of impeachment on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew is, as expected, switching parties. 

“Jeff will be joining the Republican Party,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, with the freshman congressman by his side.

Meet the Democrats who broke with their party on impeachment
Three Democrats voted against at least one article, but one might soon be a Republican

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson opposed both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two House Democrats opposed both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, while one split his vote on the two articles. A fourth voted “present.”

All three Democrats — one powerful committee chairman and two freshmen — represent districts Trump carried in 2016, but their votes put them at odds with the 28 other Democrats in Trump districts, all of whom voted for both articles of impeachment.

Jeff Van Who? Democrats slam Van Drew, talk Jersey justice for party flipper
Van Drew says he's not ready to make an announcement but signals switch is imminent

Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey did not show up to vote or attend a Democratic Caucus on Tuesday after news broke over the weekend that he plans to switch to the Republican Party after voting this week against impeaching President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:33 p.m. | New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, appearing at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon for the first time since news broke this weekend that he’s planning to switch parties, told reporters he’s not ready to announce his decision.

“I’ve not made a decision that I’m willing to share with anybody for a short period of time,” the freshman Democrat said, not denying he would soon be a Republican.

Impeachment costing Democrats a House member as Van Drew plans party switch
New Jersey freshman met with Trump and plans to vote against impeachment next week

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who cast one of two Democratic votes against launching an impeachment investigation and plans to vote against it again next week, was telling staff he would jump to the Republican Party after meeting with President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, whose election to a GOP-held district last fall helped Democrats flip the House, plans to switch parties after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday, according to multiple Garden State sources.

Members of his party were already wishing him good riddance.

Meet the two Democrats who broke with their party on impeachment
Collin Peterson and Jeff Van Drew represent districts Trump carried by very different margins

Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson was one of just two Democrats who voted against Democrats’ impeachment resolution in the House on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Democrats in competitive districts broke with their party on Thursday’s impeachment resolution in the House — a reminder of how complicated the politics of impeachment may be in seats in conservative parts of the country that Democrats want to hold in 2020.

Minnesota’s Collin C. Peterson and New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew were the only two House Democrats to vote against the resolution, which lays out procedures that will govern the public portion of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. It was adopted 232-196 without any Republican support.

They left Congress. Where are they now?
Ex-members are ‘recovering,’ ‘diving back into reality-land’ after 115th Congress

(Composite by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan A. Costello, a 42-year-old Pennsylvania Republican who retired after the 115th Congress following a court-ordered redistricting that made reelection difficult, does “a lot of Legos” now with his two children, ages 2 and 5.

Luis V. Gutiérrez, an Illinois Democrat who stepped down after 13 terms, is learning to swim and play the guitar, and hopes to be able to perform a Beatles song by Christmas.

Party unity on congressional votes takes a dive: CQ Vote Studies
Decline more dramatic in the Senate

Of the top six Democrats who broke from their party in 2018, four are no longer in Congress, including Heidi Heitkamp, right. Senators eyeing the presidency, meanwhile, are sticking to their party like glue. Elizabeth Warren had a perfect unity score. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After Democrats and Republicans reached record highs sticking together by party on congressional votes in 2017, those numbers nose-dived in 2018 as lawmakers worked across the aisle on high-profile legislation, including a rewrite of the Dodd-Frank financial law, a package dealing with the opioid crisis, spending bills and an overhaul of the country’s criminal justice laws.

CQ’s annual vote study shows that in the House the total number of party unity votes — defined as those with each party’s majority on opposing sides — fell from 76 percent of the total votes taken in the House in 2017, a record, to 59 percent in 2018. That latter figure is the lowest since 2010, the most recent year of unified Democratic control of Congress. Election years typically have fewer votes and 2018 was no exception — the total number of votes taken in the House, 498, was the lowest since 2002.

Vulnerable new Democrats savor first day as 2020 looms
Democrats now shift to defense after winning back the House

Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Okla., said voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker was in the best interest of her district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Standing a few strides away from the House floor on Thursday, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips put his arm around another new Democrat, Haley Stevens of Michigan.

“It’s for real!” Phillips exclaimed.

The Last of the Gingrich Revolutionaries
Come January, the GOP class of 1994 could be down to seven

From left, Reps. Mac Thornberry of Texas, Steve Chabot of Ohio and Walter B. Jones of North Carolina are among the few remaining members of the Class of 1994 still serving in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

It was nearly 24 years ago that Republicans swept into power in stunning fashion, ending 40 years of Democratic rule in the House.

But those 73 new Republicans who came to the House and 11 who came to the Senate on the 1994 wave engineered by Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich and his “Contract with America” have now dwindled down to a handful, and after this election only seven will likely be left in Congress.