Five countywide officials in Cape May County welcomed Rep. Jeff Van Drew into the Republican party, splitting with GOP County Chairman Marcus Karavan.
Freeholders Gerald Thornton, Leonard Desiderio and Jeffrey Pierson, Clerk Rita Fulginiti and Sheriff Bob Nolan said the longtime Democrat’s voting record and opposition to impeachment made him a good fit for the party.
“Congressman Van Drew has worked diligently in a bi partisan way his entire political career as a Mayor, Freeholder, Assemblyman, State Senator and now as a Congressman for the taxpayers and citizens of Cape May County. His principled stand against the highly partisan impeachment process by Democrats against President Trump took enormous courage and risk,” they said in a joint statement. “We will wholeheartedly welcome Congressman Van Drew to our Republican Party should he ultimately decide to become a Republican.”
On Saturday, the New Jersey Globe reported Van Drew’s chief of staff had told members of the congressman’s campaign and congressional staffs that the first-term representative would be moving to the Republican party.
Some of those told have indicated they will resign.
Karavan previously told the New Jersey Globe that Van Drew should remain a Democrat.
The first legislative district, where Van Drew served as a Democrat for more than a decade before moving to Congress, includes the entirety of Cape May County.
Freeholders Marie Hayes and Will Morey were not included in the joint statement.