The midterm elections, set to take place on November 6th, will pit Republican Tom MacArthur, the sitting Congressman for New Jersey’s 3rd district, encompassing portions of Burlington and Ocean counties, including Toms River, against former national security official, Democrat Andy Kim.
Tom MacArthur is the current Congressman for the district, and is serving his second term in the House of Representatives. MacArthur began his political career serving on the town council of Randolph, New Jersey from 2011 to 2013, including a 2013 stint as mayor. MacArthur was elected to the House in 2014, after then-Representative for the 3rd district, Jon Runyan, announced that he would not be seeking reelection. MacArthur beat his Democratic opponent Aimee Belgard by nearly 10 percentage points to win election to the vacant seat. He won reelection in 2016, triumphing over Democrat Frederick John Lavergne with over 60% of the vote.
Congressman MacArthur serves on the House’s Committee on Financial Services, the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investments. He had earlier served on the Armed Services Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.
MacArthur is a supporter of pro-life positions, supports conservative ideals of lowering taxes to promote economic expansion, decreasing overall federal spending, repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and requiring illegal immigrants to return to their home countries before applying for US citizenship. He is opposed to the government sanctioning alternative lifestyle choices, federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, and minimum imprisonment standards for non-violent drug offenders.
An analysis of MacArthur’s voting record showed that he votes along Republican party lines 89.3% of the time, and has supported President Trump’s positions 94.6% of the time.
Democrat Andy Kim is hoping to unseat Rep. MacArthur in the conservative 3rd district. Kim was raised in southern New Jersey and served in the Obama White House on national security and counterterrorism policy. Kim has cited MacArthur’s support for the Republican health care act (AHCA) as a motivating factor in his decision to run against him. Kim says he is willingly bipartisan, and points to his work as a national security officer, where he had to work with both Republicans and Democrats, as proof of that. Kim has also contrasted himself with his opponent, saying his campaign does not accept corporate donations, whereas MacArthur has received and accepted campaign donations from the health insurance industry.
The race, one of the closest in the country, has attracted a lot of attention from national groups, with outside groups pouring more than $8.6 million into the race in recent months. The latest Monmouth University poll has Kim leading MacArthur 48%-46%, making the race too close to call. In 2016, Donald Trump won the 3rd district vote by a 6.2% margin.