Van Drew explains opposition to Biden certification, after riot
TRENTON — U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew is the only member of New Jersey's congressional delegation to oppose certifying Democrat Joe Biden's win over President Donald Trump.
The pro-Trump protesters who overtook police to mob the Capitol on Wednesday didn't change his mind, said Van Drew, a Republican.
"It's two different things. I know some people might not agree with me on the certification process," he said in an Associated Press interview Wednesday. "It's not so much that I want to overturn the election. It is the fact that some really, really — if everybody would clear their head and look at this — that some really wrong things did happen."
The president challenged election results in a handful of states in dozens of court cases, none of which uncovered the kind of fraud Trump wrongly says affected the election.
Van Drew said he has met constituents who tell him they believe in the unproven fraud.
New Jersey's two Democratic senators, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez, both supported certification, along with the 11 other representatives.
The only other Republican representing New Jersey in Congress, Chris Smith, voted to certify Biden's victory in the November election.
Before the mid-week chaos in Washington D.C., Gov. Phil Murphy had strong words for Van Drew on Monday.
“It pains me in particular to see one of our own representatives, Congressman Jeff Van Drew, cynically siding with conspiracy theorists and throwing his fate in with the far-right's disproven and crackpot theories. If that’s the legacy that Jeff wants, then I guess it is what it is," Murphy said at the start of the state pandemic briefing.
Van Drew a year ago welcomed Trump to Wildwood for a rally, a reward for Van Drew leaving the Democratic Party for the GOP over the president's impeachment.
Van Drew won his first term in Congress in 2018 as a Democrat, but he left the party in December 2019, saying he felt pressured to support impeaching Trump, even though he didn't.
He had been a longtime state lawmaker and had a reputation as a conservative Democrat while serving in the Assembly and state Senate.
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