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The Washington Post today reported – and a source on the ground confirmed – that U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2) is poised to become a Republican.
This from the Post: “President Trump on Friday personally urged a vocally anti-impeachment Democrat, Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, to switch parties — a request he is now believed to be strongly considering.”
The full story – complete with toughened language which makes it appear all but inevitable that the congressman intends to change party affiliation – can be found here.
A source told InsiderNJ that most of Van Drew’s staff is departing.
But he will retain some loyal inner sanctum soldiers, who are basically making preparations for the party transition – unhappily but in recognition of their boss’s best path to a 2020 victory.
Van Drew was one of two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose pursuing articles of impeachment against the President.
The congressman subsequently faced the possible withdrawal of establishment Democratic Party support if he moved ahead with voting no impeachment. Several Democrats have stepped forward and shown interest in running against him if he decides to oppose the impeachment of Trump.
The district itself leans Republican, and Van Drew lost his former Democratic running mates this year as they tried to carry on without him in the 1st Legislative District.
This past week he said he does indeed intend to vote against impeaching Trump, which hastened the President’s efforts to pull Van Drew into the Republican Party.
Politically in his own party, “I know the ground has severely shifted under him,” a CD2 source told InsiderNJ. “And I’m sure he feels he has no other choice.”
InsiderNJ wrote about Van Drew’s woes within his own party here.
Republicans tied Van Drew’s move to a larger landscape around their rival’s impeachment efforts.
“Even Democrats know this entire impeachment witch hunt is a sham. Their socialist agenda based on a political vendetta is driving even their own party to flee. It is clear that in today’s rabid Democrat Party, moderates need not apply,” said RNC Spokesperson Mandi Merritt.