Rep. Jeff Van Drew on the Moment He Decided to Leave the Democratic Party: 'And That's When I Knew'

Screen Shot :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HKKb3wPRAk

Screen Shot :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HKKb3wPRAk

 

Newly minted Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ) joined Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday morning to discuss why he left the Democratic Party. He told Bartiromo he had been unhappy with the Party’s shift to the left, but the key moment came when a Democratic county leader ordered him to vote for impeachment. (Video below.) Here’s what he had to say.

The party is moving further and further to the left, where there is discussion of it being a socialist party. And I am a proud capitalist. I believe in hard work. I believe that we can give people opportunity, but that they also, when they get that opportunity, have to work hard to achieve success. You can’t give them success.

But the final sign for me was oddly enough actually in my home county when one of the county chairmen came to me and said, ‘I have to speak with you.’ I said, ‘Sure.’ He said, ‘I just want to let you know that you have to vote for impeachment … If you don’t, you’re not going to be able to run in my county.’

For all the years that I have worked so hard and tried to give so much, not only to the party, but to everybody….it all boils down to one vote, that I may have my own individual opinion on one vote and that is not going to be allowed? I’m going to be punished for that? And that’s when I knew.

The freshman Congressman was one of two House Democrats to vote against impeachment.

Prior to winning a seat in Congress, Van Drew served as a New Jersey state senator from 2008-2018. He told Bartiromo that, throughout his time in politics, Republicans have often supported him, in both his state senate elections and in the race for his current seat in Congress. Before entering politics, Van Drew had been a dentist.

His seat had been held by former Republican Rep. Frank LoBiondo for 24 years. LoBiondo retired leaving an open seat.

NJ-2 is definitely a mixed bag. Trump won this district in 2016 by 4.6 point margin. Obama won in both 2008 and 2016.