Republicans denouncing Donald Trump and changing party affiliation have become more common as the presidential election gets closer. Democrats switching to Republican is a rare move, but it did happen in a deep blue county South Jersey.

In a statement issued by the Camden County GOP, the county chairman welcomed Democratic Audubon Park Mayor Larry Pennock and Councilman John Carpinelli to the party.

"The Republican Party best reflects my personal views on the issues of the day, so it was important I stand up for my beliefs and change parties," Pennock said.

A call to Pennock for comment has not yet been returned.

According to, Pennock said Trump's candidacy was "the turning point."


Carpinelli also made the switch and said he looks forward to helping build the party's presence in Camden County.

“Mr. Booth has had an uphill battle in Camden County, but there is more than a little dissatisfaction out there and we expect that soon the hill may not be as steep," Carpinelli said in the same statement.

Gov. Chris Christie is deeply involved with Donald Trump's campaign and is confident he will beat presumptive Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton for the White House. But not all New Jersey Republicans are on board with Trump.

Related video — Story continues below.

Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Maria Rodriquez-Gregg, the state's only statewide elected Hispanic Republican, said she cannot support her party's standard-bearer.

“I think it’s more than just being the only Latina Republican in the Legislature,” Maria Rodriguez-Gregg told Politico. “I think it’s my whole life experience that leads me to not being able to support him.”

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM