By MIKE CATALINI
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Democrat Andy Kim, a political newcomer and former national security aide in the Obama administration, defeated Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur in a tight race in which the incumbent’s vote to roll back the Affordable Care Act was a hot issue.
Kim upset MacArthur in the hotly contested southern New Jersey district, widening the Democrats’ edge in the House.
The U.S. House historian’s database shows he is the first Asian American elected from New Jersey. Kim has never run for or served in elected office before.
“This from the very beginning was always about the people,’’ Kim told supporters at his office in Mount Laurel when he declared victory. “I will be part of that new generation of leaders that will step up and do what’s best for the American people. That’s what we need right now.’’
MacArthur said in a statement on Nov. 14 that he called Kim to congratulate him on the victory and said he would work on a smooth transition.
“We must all work together to ensure that America remains the shining city on a hill that President Ronald Reagan described so many years ago,’’ MacArthur said.
The district last elected a Democrat in 2008.
MacArthur was an ally of President Donald Trump but stressed his independence, as well.
Kim largely stayed away from invoking the president, despite his unpopularity in New Jersey.