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Rep. Jeff Van Drew. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Van Drew wins Republican nod

Former Democrat sails through Republican primary

By Nikita Biryukov, July 07 2020 8:06 pm

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) will defeat former President Donald Trump aide Robert Paterson Tuesday, the New Jersey Globe projects.

“I would like to thank President Trump for his unwavering support and Republicans throughout South Jersey for the confidence they have placed in me to be their nominee,” the congressman said. “While the Democrats were tripping over each other to appease the Radical Left in a bitter and divisive primary, our Republican Party came together and is united as we head into the General Election. ”

Van Drew led with 81% of the vote Tuesday night. Patterson won the remaining 19%.

The Republican contest in the second district was defined by Van Drew’s defection to the Republican Party. Before he jumped ship last December, three Republicans were vying for the chance to take of Van Drew in the general.

Former Young Republicans Chairman Brian Fitzherbert, out of money and watching his modest amount of institutional support evaporate as Trump and his allies pushed New Jersey Republicans behind the incumbent, dropped out in January.

Former Hill International CEO David Richter saw a similar fate. Having already moved to run against Van Drew in the second district, he dropped his bid and moved again, instead seeking the nod to challenge Rep. Andy Kim (D-Marlton).

Paterson was the only Republican to stay in the race against Van Drew, but unlike the incumbent, he saw no support from the president or the district’s Republicans, who endorsed Van Drew and held a rally in Wildwood to boost the newly-minted Republican in January.

Vote tallies do not include uncounted mail-in ballots received by Tuesday, late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday, provisional ballots that won’t be counted for at least a week and mail-in ballots that were disqualified but may be cured at a later date.

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