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Former State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak, left, with Rep. Jeff Van Drew. (Photo: Andrzejczak for Senate).

Biden names Van Drew ally who flirted with backing Trump to top Agriculture post

Former State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak refused to rule out supporting Trump re-election in 2019

By David Wildstein, January 27 2022 4:37 pm

President Joe Biden has appointed Bob Andrzejczak (D-Middle), a former Democratic state senator who said during his 2019 campaign that he had not ruled out supporting Donald Trump’s re-election, as the state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

A onetime ally of Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), the right-of-center Andrzejczak told the New Jersey Globe in October 2019 that he might vote for Trump the following year.  That was two months before Van Drew switched parties.

“Look, I vote for the best person regardless of party,” Andrzejczak said at the time. “Our nation was founded on Democracy and it’s about who has the best ideas, who’s willing to work with one another, who’s willing to serve and represent all the people, not just one side or another.”

One week before Election Day, Andrzejczak also refused to say if he would if he would support Biden or New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker if either won the Democratic presidential nomination.

“There’s a lot that has to be hashed out. I’m not throwing my support one nominee, at this point, over another,” Andrzejczak said about Biden.  “There’s a lot more debates we have to go through. There’s still a long process before we get to that point.”

The new Biden appointee did rule out supporting two Democrats who were seeking the presidency at the time: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

“Oh god no,” said Andrzejczak. “No, I would not vote for them.”

Andrzejczak was a decorated U.S. Army veteran who lost his left leg in Iraq when Van Drew then a Democratic state senator, recruited him to run for the New Jersey State Assembly in 2013.

After Van Drew took his seat in Congress in January 2019, Andrzejczak won a special election to replace him in the State Senate.  He lost a special election that November to Republican Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland) by a 53%-36% margin.

The former Democratic senator, who ran three times as a member of “The Van Drew Team,” had distanced himself from the state’s Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, prior to his 2019 campaign.

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