West Cape May Commissioner John Francis III says he will seek the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 2nd district.
The incumbent, Rep. Jeff Van Drew, is switching parties and is expected to seek re-election to a second term as a Republican.
“I’m going to run no matter what happens,” Francis told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m looking forward to running.”
Francis, who said he has been approached by several grassroots organizations, plans to make a formal announcement by January 1.
He spent nearly three decades as a planet walker, playing the banjo and “traveling the globe by foot and said with a message of environmental respect and responsibility.” He spent seventeen years without speaking.
Francis’ experiences led to some popularity through his TED Talks.
Political Science professor Brigid Harrison entered the race earlier today. Atlantic County Freeholder Ashley Bennett and Cumberland County Freeholder Jack Surrency are also considering congressional runs.
InsiderNJ reported that Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island) was exploring a run for the House.
The first-term municipal government official had been mulling a primary challenge to Van Drew before the freshman congressman.
The Globe asked Francis if he was surprised by Van Drew’s decision to become a Republican.
“I was and at the same time, I wasn’t,” Francis said.