Thomas Kean Jr., a Republican running once more to represent New Jersey‘s 7th Congressional District, said over the weekend that he is feeling a “huge wave of energy” ahead of the state’s GOP primary election on Tuesday.
Kean, who represented District 21 in the state senate from 2003 to January 2022 and even served as senate minority leader during his tenure there, told Fox News Digital in an interview this weekend that it’s time to “break the back of inflation.”
“Spending out of Washington, D.C., is completely out of control and it’s impacting everybody,” Kean said. “It’s getting more and more unaffordable for families in New Jersey and across the country. We need to cut the spending and make this state and the country more affordable.”
Tom Kean Jr. is a Republican candidate in the race to represent New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District
(Tom Kean Jr. campaign)
Amid rising inflation and gas prices that have strained working-class families in America, Kean, the son of former Republican New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, said people he has talked with “on both sides of the aisle are focused on the economy and on inflation,” noting that is the “number one issue people are feeling and being impacted by.”
“The price of gas in New Jersey has doubled since Biden took office,” Kean said as he took aim at Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., the district’s current representative who faces ethics violations and narrowly beat Kean in the 2020 general election for the seat.
The House Office of Congressional Ethics released documents last fall that found Malinowski had failed to disclose stock trades within 45 days, which federal law requires. Information provided by the congressman’s office last year revealed the trades took place from January 2019 through January 2021 and totaled over $670,000. Forbes reported that Malinowski “moved at least $1.56 million worth of his holdings into a blind trust” in August 2021.
“Tom Malinowski violated a law that was supposed to stop insider trading by members of Congress over 140 times,” Kean said. “That’s unacceptable. He’s earned himself a bipartisan ethics review because he hid millions of dollars in stock-in-trade.”
Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J,, speaks during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on September 16, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
Kean, who also served in the New Jersey General Assembly, said he believes it’s “clear that Tom Malinowski thinks he operates by a different set of rules than others” and that his actions during his time in Congress “will be playing a role because people realize it’s a continued pattern of how out of touch he is with the needs and the concerns of the district in the East Coast that he represents.”
“At a time when he told people not to profit off the pandemic, he was doing just that,” he added.
Kean also drew focus to a lot of issues Americans and residents in New Jersey are facing — including inflation, rising gas prices, and the southern border — and discussed how he believes America can begin to get back on the right track.
“Everyone has seen the gas spikes over the course of the last year,” he said. “People have seen the supply chain problem firsthand. I was in the store just the other day and saw the empty spaces where the baby formula should have been. Everybody understands this is a direct impact of Joe Biden, Tom Malinowski, and the other people who are currently in control of the House of Representatives. If we are gonna break the back of inflation, if we’re gonna secure the southern border, if we’re gonna be energy independent as we were just two short years ago, we need to change the people who are in the majority of the House of Representatives.”
In regard to border security in America, Kean said he recently took a trip to the southern border where he spoke with border patrol agents, ranchers, a local sheriff, and property owners.
“There was an incomplete fence that was right in the middle of a field that hadn’t been extended in 20 years,” Kean recalled. “You could see how an unsecured border would lead to an unsecured country.”
The New Jersey native said the flow of fentanyl into the country and human trafficking are taking a toll on Americans and insisted he witnessed it “first hand.”
A pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum.
(AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)
“We need to make sure that we have a secure southern border, we need to make sure that Title 42 is maintained, and we’ve got to make sure we have a clear solution because otherwise we don’t have a secure country,” he said.
Asked about the future of the Republican Party and whether he believes there is a divide in the party among moderates and what some would consider Trump-Republicans, Kean said, “The Republican Party believes in equality of opportunity and it’s got a broad, big banner that incorporates many people from many different beliefs. I believe it allows for more opportunity, more innovation, and better education. That’s the Republican Party principle.”
“There’s a huge wave of energy that I’m feeling when I knock on doors and talk to people,” he said, adding that people want to make the country “more affordable again.”
Kean faces a crowded field of Republican challengers in the primary election that will take place on June 7, 2022.
Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. On Twitter: @RealKyleMorris.