Turns out a tiger can change it’s stripes… or at least congressmen can.
Jefferson H. Van Drew is a politician, serving as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 2nd congressional district after being elected this year by the skin of his teeth with 53% of the vote compared to his Republican rival Seth Grossman who received 45%. Now it appears the congressman may be considering changing colours.
According to Vote Smart, the politician supports women’s reproductive rights, is pro-choice, and generally supports gun-control legislation.
This could create complications with his new party if he chooses to switch which are inarguably pro-life and pro-second amendment (right to bear arms / possess a gun) .
Van Drew hinted he was considering switching party after house discussions regarding the impeachment of President Trump, however appears he may be closer to making a decision after direct conversions with the president who may have offered personal support and endorsement as a form of protection for the bold move.
Reportedly, Van Drew informed staff he would be party switching two days ago, which led to a number of staff resigning. Associated Press also reported that “One rival for the GOP nomination for the seat says he’s been told that Trump will endorse Van Drew.” However it is unclear whether that support will arise for the District of New Jersey primaries mid next year, or for the general election in November.
Van Drew’s previous direct competitor Seth Grossman is yet to comment on his former rival’s possible move. However potential 2020 rivals Dave Ritcher, Bob Patterson, and Brian T. Fitzherbert have all directly or indirectly acknowledged Van Drew potentially joining them as a Republican candiate in one way or another.
Brian T. Fitzherbert re-tweeted the tweet below issuing support for his candidacy
Bob Patterson re-tweeted a comment regarding Van Drew’s expected switch and added the following comment:
But perhaps most vocal has been Dave Ritcher, who Associated Press has quoted saying:
“This is a guy [Van Drew] who cut and ran away from the Democratic Party to protect his own skin… Anybody who runs on the Republican side is against the impeachment… You also have to be someone who has integrity. You also have to be someone who stood up for Republican principles their whole lives.”
Party switching is not un-usual, especially with the rise of the number of people identifying as independents. President Trump himself has switched party affiliation a number of times including identifying with both the democratic and independent parties before settling as a Republican in 2012. However Jeff Van Drew’s case remains curious considering the (likely) switch so close to a major house vote, his public positions which tend to lean Democrat, and the increasingly divisive political atmosphere in the United States making it feel almost impossible to do outright anymore in this day and age.
Image by DonkeyHotey Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)