The Democrats officially took over as the majority party of the U.S. House of Representatives today with the election of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and the swearing-in of new members of Congress. New Jersey now has four new Democratic representatives in its delegation of 12 House members.
Here’s a quick look at the newcomers:
Jeff Van Drew, D, 2nd District
The former state Senator from Cape May County takes over the sprawling South Jersey Congressional district held for more than two decades by Republican Frank LoBiondo, who has retired.
Van Drew, who is seen as a moderate Democrat,told the Press of Atlantic City that he has requested membership on House committees dealing with natural resources, transportation and infrastructure.
Andrew Kim, D, 3rd District
Kim defeated incumbent GOP Congressman Tom MacArthur in what was easily the closest race in New Jersey this year. It was nearly a week after Election Day when MacArthur conceded the race, which was decided by fewer than 4,000 votes out of the 300,000 cast.
Kim is a former official in the Obama administration and the state’s first Asian-American representative in Congress.
He told The Jersey Shore Online that he has asked to serve on the House Committee on Small Business and the Armed Services Committee, where he can best protect Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, one of district’s largest employers.
Tom Malinowski, D, 7th District
Another former official in the Obama administration (he served as an Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor), Malinowski defeated six-term Republican incumbent Leonard Lance in this sprawling swing district.
Malinowski told MyCentraJersey.comthat campaign reform and accountability are at the top of his agenda, specifically taking “dark money” out of politics. He also said he would look to improve gun safety and college affordability.
Mikie Sherrill, D, 11th District
Sherrill won the open seat vacated by retiring GOP Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen to become one of the record 102 women being sworn into Congress today. She is a former Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor.
While she will go to work with the rest of her colleagues, Sherrill said she will not accept a paycheck as long as the federal government remains shut down due to the federal budget impasse.
“As a former federal employee, I have seen firsthand how prior government shutdowns have imposed needless financial burdens on hardworking individuals and their families,” she stated according to a report by Northjersey.com.
*For the most up-to-date information on all the members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, download NJBIA’s Legislative Directory app for free from iTunes or Google Play.