Why this NJ congressman is really switching parties (Opinion)
Word leaked out over the weekend that NJ Congressman Jeff Van Drew (D-2nd) will be switching parties to become a Republican. I've know Jeff Van Drew a long time. He is a good guy. He also has had some wacky ideas when he was in NJ State government. That's why we often ridiculed most of the government up-your-ass bills he proposed in the statehouse. But he is well liked by his constituents, a decent guy and a snappy dresser. He didn't suddenly change his ideals to a more Republican slant.
He knew that his constituents didn't favor impeachment and his stance on voting no on impeachment of Donald Trump would get him primary-ed by the Democratic machine in New Jersey next year. He is in a mostly conservative Republican district. He figured he would have a better chance of staying in Congress if he switched parties. If his district was more Democratic, he would remain a Democrat.
When he won election to Congress in 2018, his Republican opponent was considered a bit of a nutjob and not a good candidate. That combined with the anti-Trump fever that was sweeping the country in the mid-term elections provided Van Drew with the win. Van Drew has climbed his way up the political ladder from Fire Commissioner to Freeholder to Assemblyman to State Senator to Congressman. He's not about to be a one-term Congressman and go back to being a dentist.
Jeff is 66 years old and would like to finish his long years of service in Congress for as many years as he can. It has nothing to do with love of Donald Trump or a change of ideology. No doubt, he's done some polling in his district and knows the Trump-hating Democrats in power won't let him stay for his NO-vote on impeaching the President. But his constituents favor the job Trump is doing so he had to make a choice. It's a calculated political move to keep him IN Washington and OUT of his old patients mouths. That's all.
More from New Jersey 101.5: