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With Van Drew’s victory in New Jersey, 2021 will be the rare year since 1946 without a Kennedy in Congress.


BOSTON — There has been a member of the Kennedy family in Congress nearly continuously since John F. Kennedy was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1946. But 2021, it seems, will be a rare exception.

Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, Democrat of Massachusetts, ran unsuccessfully for the Senate this year, losing in a primary in September and giving up his House seat in the process. Also on the 2020 ballot: Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s son Patrick, who was running for a House seat in New Jersey’s 2nd District. The Associated Press declared her opponent, Representative Jeff Van Drew, a onetime Democrat who switched parties in December and declared allegiance to President Trump, the winner on Friday.

Between John F. Kennedy and Joseph P. Kennedy III, there have been four Kennedys in Congress: Robert F. Kennedy, the senator from New York in the late 1960s; Edward M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts senators from the 1960s through 2009; Joseph P. Kennedy II, a representative from Massachusetts in the 1990s; and Patrick J. Kennedy, a representative from Rhode Island from 1995 to 2011.

And while 2021 won’t see one of the Kennedys in Congress, there will still be a Kennedy: The junior senator from Louisiana, a Republican, shares a first and last name, if not a family lineage, with the former president — John Kennedy.

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