Van Drew staffers get new jobs; Democrat meeting with Trump
U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew was scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday a day after the South Jersey Democrat voted with Republicans against impeachment.
Politico and other media outlets reported Saturday that Van Drew was expected to switch parties and become a Republican, following a meeting with Trump on Friday. Although he has yet to announce the switch, the report has drawn scorn from New Jersey Democrats and Gov. Phil Murphy.
Van Drew was one of three Democrats who voted against the articles of impeachment on Wednesday night. Nebraska Republican U.S. Rep. Don Bacon said on Twitter he was sitting with a "new member of the GOP."
Iowa congressman Steve King told Fox News that Van Drew is the "loneliest person in Congress" and praised him for following his conscience and his heart.
Van Drew denied he is lonely and told Fox he has lots of friends.
The six staffers who signed a letter announcing they quit Van Drew’s office after word leaked he was switching political parties — Javier Gamboa, Edward Kaczmarski, Justin M. O'Leary, MacKenzie Lucas, Caroline Wood and Cece Doherty — all have new jobs with the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
NJ.com's report was confirmed by the office of committee chairman Rep. Frank Pallone. A total of 10 staffers have left Van Drew’s office, according to NJ.com.
The South Jersey congressman told Politico that the staffers who quit “were told to” or they would be blackballed by Democrats. They signed a letter saying they could "no longer in good conscience" work for Van Drew.
House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy told Roll Call that he has sent some of his staff to temporarily help out Van Drew's office with constituent services.
Montclair political science professor Brigid Harrison has announced her candidacy as a Democrat for his 2nd District seat in 2020.
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