TOMS RIVER – Andy Kim is officially the winner of the 3rd Congressional District seat.
Tom MacArthur officially conceded on Wednesday night with an emailed statement: “Tonight, I called Congressman-Elect Andy Kim to congratulate him on his victory. Enough provisional ballots have been counted to make the outcome clear. My staff and I will work with him to ensure a smooth transition in every way. It has been an honor to represent the people of Ocean and Burlington counties over the last four years, and I am proud to have done so with honesty and integrity. My wife Debbie and I have been truly blessed in life, and our commitment to helping others has never been defined by politics or elected office. I am also a firm believer that good can come out of life’s disappointments and I look forward to what the future holds for us. Thank you to all of those who supported me and even those who did not. We must all work together to ensure that America remains the shining city on a hill that President Reagan described so many years ago.”
The race had been predicted to be a close one. As polls closed on Nov. 6, Kim was ahead of incumbent Republican Tom MacArthur, but by only a few thousand votes.
The 3rd District is made up of parts of Ocean and Burlington counties. Both counties are still counting provisional ballots. A representative from the Burlington County Board of Elections said the provisional ballots will be counted Thursday.
Kim had already declared a victory, and visited the state house with other new representatives like Tom Malinowski, who won the 7th District, and Mikie Sherrill, who won the 11th District.
Kim made his victory speech around 8:30 p.m. Nov. 7, although MacArthur would not concede the election.
While Kim was at the microphone in his Mount Laurel office with supporters, MacArthur’s office e-mailed the media the following statement: “This has been a hard fought campaign and like Andy Kim, I’m ready to see it come to an end. I have always said that I will be guided by the voters of the district and there are nearly 7,000 more of them who haven’t been heard from yet. We must ensure that their votes – and all votes – are counted in a transparent way that protects the integrity of this election.”
During a televised news conference, Kim said “I will be part of that new generation of leaders that will step up and focus on what’s best for the American people, what we can do for all of us. That is what we need right now.”
Kim also released a statement on his campaign Facebook page: “We did it! Thank you everyone in NJ03. It will be an honor to represent our district, a district where I went to kindergarten & am now raising my two boys. I’m humbled. Now is the time for a new generation of leaders to unite our nation & lead with integrity, honor, & civility.”
According to the returns so far, Kim received 148,580 votes while MacArthur had 145,958.
On Nov. 7, the Sierra Club put out a press release in support of Kim’s win.
“Andy Kim’s win for Congress is a win for the environment. As a Congressman, Kim will support policies that combat climate change, protect our natural resources, and encourage energy efficiency at a state and national level. Congressman MacArthur has voted with the Trump Administration on rolling back important protections that keep our air and water clean,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We are glad Andy Kim will fill MacArthur’s seat because we know Andy will work to become District 3’s environmental champion.”
MacArthur had served as Congressman in the 3rd District since 2015. He had won the election after former pro-footballer Jon Runyan decided not to seek a third term.
The last time a Democrat had the seat was in 2008 when John Adler was elected. He had passed away in 2011. Adler was elected shortly after the retirement of longtime Republican Congressman Jim Saxton who served in the U.S. House Of Representatives for 24 years.