Home>Campaigns>Dems says Thompson’s party switch is a result of ‘Republican dysfunction’ in Washington and Trenton

State Sen. Samuel Thompson. (Photo: Senate Minority Office).

Dems says Thompson’s party switch is a result of ‘Republican dysfunction’ in Washington and Trenton

By David Wildstein, February 13 2023 12:23 pm

New Jersey Democratic State Committee spokesman Phil Swibinski said that the decision of State Sen. Sam Thompson, a conservative 26-year veteran of the state legislature, to switch parties and run for re-election as a Democrat is a signal of “Republican dysfunction.”

“From Washington to Trenton and everywhere in between, the Republican Party continues to be in disarray, and Senator Thompson switching parties is the latest example,” Swibinski said.  “Republicans are struggling to recruit quality legislative candidates, and they are hopelessly stuck playing to their extreme right-wing base by supporting unpopular policy ideas like cutting Social Security and Medicare.”

Thompson, a pro-life, pro-gun Republican who supported Donald Trump and Chris Christie, said on Sunday evening that he would seek re-election as a Democrat.

The 87-year-old lawmaker’s decision follows an announcement by three-term Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry, 62, that he would challenge Thompson in the Republican primary after being encouraged by GOP leaders.

Thompson had a difficult path to scoring a primary win for a fifth term, especially after he missed last week’s filing deadline to compete at the Monmouth County GOP convention next month.

The 12th legislative district, which includes parts of Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Burlington counties, is among the more Republican legislative districts in the state.  Trump won it by 14 points in 2020, and GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli carried it by 27 points against Gov. Phil Murphy two years ago.

“Democrats are focused on actually delivering solutions to help make our state and our country more affordable, safer, and more equitable for everyone,” Swibinski said.

Editor’s note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed quotes to the Democratic State Chairman.  They were from the party spokesman. 

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