Ocean County Republican Chairman Frank Holman endorsed Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) Thursday, adding another party leader to the list of the former Democrat’s backers.
“I did not take the decision to issue this endorsement lightly. The President has endorsed Congressman Van Drew and I believe it is our duty to support our Republican President,” Holman said. “I’m excited for the extremely rare opportunity to have the President visit South Jersey in support of Congressman Van Drew, and for that reason, I have decided to issue this endorsement ahead of both the meeting of our Screening Committee and our Convention.”
Van Drew defected to the Republican party last month after losing support from the second congressional district’s Democrats over his opposition to impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
Trump and a number of the district’s Republican leaders have since endorsed Van Drew.
The president will hold a rally for Van Drew in Wildwood on Jan. 28.
“I’d like to thank Chairman Holman for his support and his endorsement,” Van Drew said. “The Ocean County Republican Organization has long been recognized as one of the strongest political organizations in New Jersey and I look forward to earning their support at their nominating convention and winning re-election with their help in November.”
Holman’s endorsement does not award Van Drew the party line in Ocean.
He said the county’s Republican committee will still hold candidate screenings and award their line as usual, but there’s little expectation that the party will split with its chairman.