NJGOP Statement On Congressman Van Drew Party Flip

December 17, 2019
NJGOP Statement On Congressman Van Drew Party Flip

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Republican State Committee released the following in response to the news of NJ-2 Congressman Jeff Van Drew’s change of party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.

“Voters in CD-2 have been looking, for the past several years, to Republicans for honest answers to South Jersey’s real problems,” said Chairman Steinhardt. “They are looking for solutions on job creation and affordability. When Democrat leaders like Phil Murphy and Nancy Pelosi focus 100% of their time on a liberal agenda that includes a partisan impeachment probe and millions of dollars supporting illegal immigrants, they are bound to lose support. Now, they’re losing a Congressman.”

Since 2016, Republicans have made significant gains in South Jersey. Republicans flipped a State Senate seat in LD-2 in 2017 and Senate and Assembly seats in LD-1 (Van Drew’s former legislative district) in 2019. This is the first time LD-1 has been entirely Republican in nearly two decades. Republicans also held the Assembly seats in LD-8, thanks in large part to the margin in the NJ-2 part of the district.  

Republicans gained control of Salem County government and now have the opportunity, in 2020, to win control of Cumberland County government. This year, Republicans also won control, and have a 5-0 majority, in Van Drew’s hometown of Dennis Township and a 3-0 majority for the first time ever in neighboring Middle Township.

Chairman Steinhardt continued, “When we set out to grow the NJGOP, we always knew that meant re-engaging Republicans, winning unaffiliated voters and attracting Democrats unhappy with their party’s new, extreme positions.”

After losing almost 108,000 Republican registrants (approximately 18,000 every midterm election dating back to the Whitman Administration in 1993), Republicans have increased the Party’s registrations by 7.5%, adding almost 98,000 Republicans in the 2 1/2 years since Steinhardt became Chairman. Democrats still maintain an advantage statewide, but Republicans are fighting back with strong, sharp-elbowed messaging.

“We have had positive and continuing dialogue with party leadership in South Jersey and Washington and welcome Congressman Jeff Van Drew to the NJGOP. This is a quickly evolving situation, but we look forward to continuing to work to ensure that South Jerseyans have a Republican Congressman for years to come.”