December 16, 2019
Seven staffers for South Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew have resigned following reports that the Democratic Congressman is switching political parties.
Van Drew, who represents New Jersey's second congressional district, was one of two Democrats who voted against the rules laying out the impeachment process of President Donald Trump.
The resignations left Chief of Staff Allison Murphy as the only staff member in Van Drew's Washington office.
Five staffers delivered a joint resignation letter Sunday night to Murphy, saying they were "deeply saddened and disappointed" by Van Drew's decision to join the Republican Party.
Legislative Director Javier Gamboa, spokeswoman Mackenzie Lucas, Legislative Assistant Caroline Wood and Deputy Staff chiefs Edward Kacmarski and Justin M. O’Leary added that they could "no longer in good conscience continue our service on the Congressman's employ."
Here's more from their letter:
“Van Drew’s decision to join the ranks of the Republican Party led by Donald Trump does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office.
"Over the past year, Trump Republicans, have sided with special interests over the needs of working people. Worse, they continue to aid and abet Trump as he shreds the Constitution and tears the country apart. They have refused to grapple with how the president of the United States has jeopardized our national security for this own political advantage.”
The Washington Post first reported on Saturday that Rep. Van Drew was planning to join the Republicans at Trump's request.
Van Drew, a freshman lawmaker, is up for re-election next year. He replaced former Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican who served the district from 1995 to 2019.
Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, claimed Van Drew was trying "to salvage his own election." According to an internal campaign poll obtained by USA Today, only 24% of Democratic primary voters in South Jersey thought Van Drew should get re-elected while 60% of voters wanted someone new in office.