One of the House Republicans responsible for the party’s attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act last year lost his bid for re-election to a Democrat who previously worked for the Obama administration, according to Mic.
> Andy Kim, a Democrat and former National Security Council official in the Obama administration, has won the race for New Jersey’s 3rd District, ousting Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur to become the first Korean-American in Congress since 1999. The race was called by the Associated Press on Wednesday afternoon.
> The victory did not come easily. On the morning of Nov. 7, the race was still too close to call, despite MacArthur appearing to have a slight edge with 49.8% of the vote and 99% of precincts reporting.
> But an influx of Vote by Mail ballots appeared to net an estimated 15,000 additional votes for Kim and around 10,000 votes for MacArthur, flipping the race in the Democrat’s favor and placing him squarely in the lead.
The southern New Jersey district Kim won voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 by a 6-point margin, Mic noted.
But MacArthur’s role in Republican efforts to repeal the ACA, known also as Obamacare, appeared to have cost the lawmaker precious votes in the midterm elections.
> When House Republicans were struggling to find the votes to pass a version of an ACA repeal, MacArthur teamed up with conservative members of the House to draft a bill that could get enough Republicans on board.
> His version of the bill passed, and Republicans celebrated the victory in the White House Rose Garden. But that celebration was premature: The ultimate ACA repeal failed in the Senate, and Republicans abandoned the effort after a major blowback from the public.
Democrats capitalized on MacArthur’s role, running ads that accused the Republican of trying to take away voters’ access to health care, and the strategy appears to have been a success.