As voters in South Jersey headed to the polls to decide one of the state’s most hotly contested congressional races, the Democratic challenger went into quarantine due to potential coronavirus exposure.
Amy Kennedy canceled in-person events Tuesday after she was in close proximity while wearing a mask Saturday to someone at an outdoor event who has since tested positive for COVID-19, Kennedy’s campaign manager Josh Roesch said.
Kennedy tested negative for the virus Tuesday morning and was not showing any symptoms, but canceled in-person events “out of an abundance of caution.” She will continue to hold events virtually Tuesday and will be tested for COVID-19 again later in the week.
Kennedy is following state quarantine guidelines in an attempt to lead on public health by example, her campaign said.
Kennedy is looking to unseat party-switching Republican Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers the southernmost parts of the state including Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties, along with portions of four other counties.
This is perhaps the most closely watched race in the state. Van Drew gained national attention when he abandoned the Democratic Party in December and became a Republican, saying he couldn’t support impeachment of President Donald Trump. He pledged his “undying support” to Trump during an Oval Office meeting and in January hosted the president in Wildwood for a rally.
That was before the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, Van Drew has been locked in a tight race against Kennedy, a former public school teacher. She’s also the spouse of former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
The district supported Trump in 2016, though it backed Democrat Barack Obama in his two presidential runs.