Bob Patterson has taken GOP primary challenge against Democrat-turned-Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) to the airwaves, launching a TV ad contrasting his support of President Donald Trump to Van Drew’s record as a Democratic congressman and state legislator.
The ad, “The Conservative Choice,” highlights Patterson’s service in the Trump administration and his pro-border wall, pro-gin and pro-life views.
“Van Drew voted for amnesty and against President Trump’s border wall. He voted for gun control. And Van Drew even has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood. That’s too liberal,” the 30-second ad says.
The Patterson campaign said the ad will run districtwide on cable television. They stopped short of saying how much money they will put behind the ad, but said it will be a significant buy between now and the July 7 Republican primary.
“As a 30-year Democrat officeholder, Jeff Van Drew has sided with radical liberals over South Jersey citizens time and again,” Patterson said in a statement. “In Congress, Van Drew voted with Nancy Pelosi and AOC to support abortion and gun control, while opposing all of President Trump’s key policy initiatives. He also co-sponsored amnesty legislation, a bill to resuscitate the long-dead Equal Rights Amendment, and the Democrat smear of Trump as a racist. Van Drew may think he can reinvent himself as a Republican, but his votes don’t lie. His votes are 100% liberal — too liberal for South Jersey.”
Patterson was one of three Republicans in the race to challenge Van Drew when the freshman congressman announced he was switching parties and would seek re-election as a Republican.
The other two candidates dropped out: David Richter switched races and is now challenging Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton); and Brian Fitzherbert, with his campaign in debt, would have been unlikely to continue anyway.
Trump held a rally in Wildwood in January to boost Van Drew’s chances.
Republican organizations in all eight counties in New Jersey’s 2nd district have endorsed Van Drew. So has a onetime rival, State Sen. Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland), the Cumberland County GOP Chairman.