Republican congressional candidate Antony Ghee today acknowledged that he was a registered Democrat while living in Brooklyn between 1998 and 2000.
Ghee, a candidate for Rodney Frelinghuysen’s House seat, says that he moved to Brooklyn after law school and lived there for two years before being transferred for a short stint in Hong Kong. He says was an unaffiliated voter until registering as a Republican earlier this year.
“I grew up in a Democratic household in a Democratic community,” Ghee said about his party registration decision.
He cited other Democrats who have switched parties: Ronald Reagan, Condoleezza Rice and Rudy Giuliani.
“I’m no different,” Ghee said. “At a certain point in my life, I realized my personal values aligned more closely with the Republican Party.”
He cited his support for smaller government and a strong national defense. Ghee is a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Ghee has never been involved in politics before. If elected, he would become the first African American Republican congressman from New Jersey.
One Republican primary rival, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), has criticized Ghee for refusing to say who he voted for in the last three presidential elections.
But Ghee says that there should be no litmus test for becoming a Republican.
“If you limit membership to those who were born a Republican, our party is never going to grow,” he said.