Viking Yachts Co-Chairman Robert Healey, Jr. Announces Intent to Run for 3rd District Congressional Seat Now Held by Andy Kim

November 19, 2021

Pine Barrens Tribune

By Bill Bonvie

MOORESTOWN—A new potential challenger has emerged to Democratic 3rd Congressional District Rep. Andy Kim, who will presumably be up for re-election for the second time in 2022.

The latest Republican hoping to recapture Kim’s seat for the GOP, Robert “Bob” Healey, Jr., is executive co-chairman of the Viking Group, a Bass River Township-based manufacturer of luxury yachts, and the son of the company’s co-founder.

Healey, a Burlington County native, announced his intention to run for the office in a Nov. 11 press release, which said that his aim is to “improve economic opportunity and affordability, stand with our police and enhance public safety, and defend our personal liberties and freedoms against the radical liberal cancel culture.”

“As a business owner who employs over 1,000 South Jersey residents, I understand the challenges people are facing,” the release quoted Healey as saying. “This country is headed in the wrong direction, and I intend to do something about it – for my country, for my family, and most importantly for the hard-working people of the Third Congressional District.”

Kim, the son of South Korean immigrants, has already defeated two affluent Republican businessmen in previous races for the 3rd District seat—Thomas MacArthur, a former insurance executive who previously held it for two terms, and David Richter, the former CEO of Hill international, who ran against him in 2020.

In order to become the Republican Party’s official candidate for the seat in both Burlington and Ocean counties, Healey will need to compete in a primary contest next June 7 against any other GOP hopefuls who may enter the race.

In a short bio accompanying his press release, Healey noted that he was a graduate of St. Joseph’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, and that he is co-founder and president of the Healey International Relief Foundation, which he said has helped “to provide healthcare, education, clean water, and economic opportunity for people in impoverished regions of the world.”

His role in that charity, he indicated, was an outgrowth of his having spent time in the war-torn West African country of Sierra Leone “on a mission to improve the quality of life for individuals and families”— an experience he claims “transformed” his outlook on life after having spent time “as a concert promoter and member of a touring band” (which was reportedly a punk-rock group known as “The Ghouls”).

According to Healey’s bio, he also helped develop the Gleneayre Equestrian Program, “founded to help children and teens who are experiencing challenges in their lives,” while another charity, the Healey Education Foundation, has enabled him and his company to “encourage children from low-income families to attend Catholic schools and to help those Catholic schools grow and become self-sustaining.”

The bio also referred to Healey as “a conservationist who cares deeply about the health of our oceans,” noting that he also serves as chairman of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, an organization founded to promote strong fish stocks and protect the rights of fishermen.

Healey, who resides in Moorestown with his wife, Bobbi, and their baby daughter, described his hobbies as yoga and participating in Revolutionary War and World War I re-enactments.

As of this newspaper’s deadline time, Healey had not returned several phone calls and an email request for a phone interview.

A spokesman for Kim, when asked by this newspaper if the congressman had any comment on Healey’s entry into the race, said he “is going to pass” on the opportunity to do so, as well as on an invitation to offer his opinion on the COVID-19 vaccine mandates ordered by Democratic President Joe Biden and since temporarily stayed by two courts, which 2nd District Rep. Jefferson “Jeff” Van Drew has sharply condemned (as noted in an article in this newspaper last week).