Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ) said that he's switching parties to the GOP amid conflicts over the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Now it seems the split with his party is more about his personal life than the president.
“I’m reevaluating my life and my thoughts," Van Drew told Philadelphia Inquirer national political reporter Jonathan Tamari.
Van Drew reportedly told Tamari that there will be a time for him to say more, but he had to vote and scurried away behind doors. Van Drew didn't show up for his first votes this morning.
Van Drew just now declined to comment on a party switch. “I’m reevaluating my life and my thoughts” Says there wil… https://t.co/LvYPdb8OUS— Jonathan Tamari (@Jonathan Tamari)1576609683.0
Van Drew was spotted on the GOP side of the House in the last vote.
Jeff Van Drew was spotted on the GOP side of the House floor at the last vote. per @byrdinator Van Drew was seen c… https://t.co/KuEHl43V2W— Clare Foran (@Clare Foran)1576611149.0
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during her weekly press conference that she isn't "whipping" votes on impeachment and all members should vote their conscience. There are a slate of other Democrats who have not indicated whether they will support impeachment, but Van Drew is the only one who announced he would leave the party over it.
Van Drew has only been in office since 2019. He beat his Republican opponent 52.3 percent to 45.9 percent. The district supported Trump over former Secretary Hillary Clinton by 4.6 percent in 2016. However, former President Barack Obama won the district by 8.1 percent.
Political science Professor Brigid Callahan Harrison is the first Democrat to announce that she will run against Van Drew as a Democrat.