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NEW JERSEY (PIX11) – Republican Tom Kean Jr. has defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski in a rematch for New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District.

Kean will represent Central Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives. The son of former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, Kean Jr. flipped the House seat that Malinowski held for two terms since 2019. Kean earned about 52% of the vote, the Associated Press reported.

Kean was a member of the New Jersey Senate from 2003 to 2022 and served as minority leader for 14 years. He ran for Congress in 2020 but lost a close challenge to Malinowski.

New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District seat had been held by Republicans since 1981 before Malinowski’s two terms in Congress.

The 7th Congressional District was redrawn after the 2020 census. It leans more conservative after redistricting added more registered Republicans than Democrats.

The district stretches from more populous Central Jersey communities, such as Westfield, and across the state to more sparsely populated counties, including Warren and Hunterdon.