Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey — an anti-impeachment Democrat — switched parties Thursday (12 December 2019) to join the GOP. The day earlier, he voted against both articles of impeachment.
Congressman Jeff Van Drew is very popular in our great and very united Republican Party. It was a tribute to him that he was able to win his heavily Republican district as a Democrat. People like that are not easily replaceable!Pres. Donald Trump
One in the can. More to come?
On Thursday, Van Drew pledged his “undying” support to Trump, and the President endorsed him. But even he declared to be Republican now, his past — like, for example, voting record — is very democrat. He has voted against Trump about 90% of the time.
Rep. Van Drew still has a year to prove what side he’s on, but it’s highly unlikely that he will not have to face some other Republican in primaries. Businessman David Richter has his eye set on Van Drew’s congressional seat.
Van Drew has said that he’s well-positioned to keep his seat, claiming that about 70% of his district approves of him switching parties. Democrats, of course, are not impressed with this statement and are gearing for the fight. Brigid Harrison (political science professor at Montclair State University), announced that she would run, and she isn’t the only one considering getting into the race.
Van Drew is the 10th member of Congress to switch parties in the past 20 years.
Six Democrats went Republican,
three Republicans decided to go from red to blue,
and one Republican declared himself independent.