Democratic State Chairman John Currie slammed Rep. Jeff Van Drew over his defection to the GOP.
“Jeff Van Drew just sold out his constituents and our party, and in the process revealed that his only real value is self-preservation,” Currie said.
On Saturday, the New Jersey Globe reported Van Drew’s chief of staff had told members of the congressman’s campaign and congressional staffs that the first-term representative would be moving to the Republican party.
Some of those told have indicated they will resign.
Over preceding weeks, support for Van Drew among local Democrats has ebbed away, the retreat fueled by his opposition to impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Currie also leveraged the defection into an attack against South Jersey powerbroker George Norcross, who is backing a challenger seeking control of the Democratic State Committee.
“The Norcross political machine has a long history of cutting deals with Republicans and opposing progressive policies, so it’s fitting that one of its most prominent members has now taken the next logical step and actually joined the Republican Party,” Currie said.
Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones is running against Currie with the backing of South Jersey Democrats.
A New Jersey Globe tally has Jones leading Currie 54-43, though Jones’ vote count is expected to rise to 55 after a former Monmouth County Democratic State Committee member Bill Robinson’s seat is filled.
“This just underscores how vitally important it is to stop our party from being taken over by Norcross, and why the Democratic State Committee members must vote to re-elect the Currie-Schaffer leadership team,” Currie said.