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Congressional candidate Robert Turkavage

Turkavage to challenge Van Drew as Democrat

Former FBI agent ran as Republican in 2018

By Nikita Biryukov, December 31 2019 10:31 am

Former FBI Agent Robert Turkavage is launching another bid for Congress in the second district, but this time, he’s running as a Democrat.

“As I see it, the Republican Party left me; I did not leave the Republican Party,” he said. “Even though my party affiliation has changed, my positions on the issues have not. National Security has always been, and remains my top concern.”

Turkavage ran for the seat last year as a Republican but was defeated in the primary by former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman.

The former FBI agent has since left the Republican party, citing President Donald Trump’s treatment of FBI and other personnel, among other things.

“Law enforcement could always count on the GOP as a reliable partner, yet the GOP remained silent as its leader urged non-cooperation with law enforcement investigations, and labeled law enforcement cooperators as ‘rats,’” he said.

Turkavage also pointed to Trump’s refusal to cooperate with probes into his conduct.

Such non-cooperation is the subject of an article of impeachment passed by the House earlier this month.

Turkavage is the second party-switcher to enter the race.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) switched parties earlier this month after losing the support of local Democrats over his opposition to impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Three other Republican candidates — David Richter, Brian Fitzherbert and Robert Patterson — remain in the race.

Running on the Democratic side are political science professor Brigid Harrison, West Cape May Commissioner John Francis and Atlantic County Freeholder Ashley Bennett.

At least two others, Cumberland County Freeholder Jack Surrency and Amy Kennedy, the wife of former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-Rhode Island), are exploring House bids.

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