Jeff Van Drew
Jeff Van Drew
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New Jersey's 2nd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Frank LoBiondo|
|Member of the New Jersey Senate|
from the 1st district
January 8, 2008 – December 31, 2018
|Preceded by||Nicholas Asselta|
|Succeeded by||Bob Andrzejczak|
|Member of the New Jersey General Assembly|
from the 1st district
January 8, 2002 – January 8, 2008
|Preceded by||John C. Gibson|
|Succeeded by||Matthew W. Milam|
|Member of the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders|
January 1, 1995 – January 1, 1998
|Preceded by||Gary Jessel|
|Succeeded by||Mark Videtto|
|Born||February 23, 1953|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Political party||Republican (2020–present)|
|Democratic (until 2020)|
|Spouse(s)||Ricarda Van Drew|
|Education||Rutgers University, New Brunswick (BS)|
Fairleigh Dickinson University (DMD)
Jefferson H. Van Drew (born February 23, 1953) is an American dentist and politician, serving as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 2nd congressional district since 2019. He is a member of the Republican Party. He served as the New Jersey State Senator from the 1st Legislative District from 2008 to 2018. He represented the same district in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2002 to 2008.
Van Drew was the Democratic nominee in New Jersey's 2nd congressional district in the 2018 election. He was elected with 53% of the vote against Republican nominee Seth Grossman, who received 45% of the vote. On December 19, 2019, Van Drew announced that he would be joining the Republican Party, and he officially did so on January 7, 2020. He is seeking the nomination for Republican candidate for the 2020 United States House of Representatives election in New Jersey's 2nd District.
Personal life, education, and career
|This article is part of a series on|
the United States
Van Drew and his wife Ricarda have two children.
Earlier political career
Van Drew served on the Dennis Township Committee in 1991, and as Mayor from 1997 to 2003 and from 1994 to 1995. Van Drew served on the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1994 to 1997. He was a Dennis Township Fire Commissioner from 1983 to 1986.
In 1994, as a Cape May County Freeholder, Van Drew made support for a local community college a major campaign issue. In 2002, ground was broken on the site of the future Atlantic Cape Community College campus in Cape May County.
New Jersey Senate
On November 6, 2007, Van Drew won his bid for a seat in the New Jersey Senate, defeating Republican incumbent Nicholas Asselta. In November 2011, Van Drew defeated Republican challenger David S. DeWeese by a margin of 24,557-20,857. He was reelected in the 2013 elections defeating Upper Township Republican businesswoman Susan Adelizzi Schmidt by 20 points.
For the 2018–19 session, Van Drew served in the Senate on the Community and Urban Affairs Committee (as Chair), the Military and Veterans' Affairs (as Vice-Chair), the Joint Committee on Housing Affordability and the Intergovernmental Relations Commission. In 2008, Van Drew sponsored the Fair Market Drug Pricing Act to establish the "New Jersey Rx Card Program to reduce prescription drug prices."
U.S. House of Representatives
New Jersey's 2nd congressional district had been represented by Republican Frank LoBiondo since 1995, who served 11 terms before announcing his retirement on November 7, 2017. The district is the southernmost in New Jersey and the state's largest, encompassing rural farms from Salem County to the Jersey Shore and Atlantic City. President Barack Obama won the district in 2008 and 2012, and President Donald Trump won in 2016. Upon LoBiondo's retirement announcement, The Cook Political Report changed the district's rating in the 2018 midterms from "Safe Republican" to "Toss-Up".
On November 29, 2017, Van Drew announced he would run for the open congressional seat, aiming "to bring economic opportunity and good jobs to South Jersey." He was endorsed by the eight county chairs in the district, as well as New Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross. In February 2018, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee included Van Drew in their Red to Blue program, which provided resources and donors to candidates in districts that were targeted to be flipped from Republican to Democrat. In the primary campaign for the seat, Van Drew faced William Cunningham, Tanzie Youngblood, and Nate Kleinman. Sean Thom dropped out ahead of the June 5, 2018 primary. As of May 16, Van Drew had raised $412,555 for his campaign. On June 5, 2018, Van Drew won the Democratic primary with 55.4% of the vote. On the same night, former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman won the Republican nomination.
Following Van Drew's win in the primary, The Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball changed the rating of the district to "Likely Democratic". In the November 5 midterms, Van Drew ultimately won 52.9% of the vote, one of four New Jersey congressional districts to flip from Republican to Democratic. This made Van Drew the first Democrat to represent NJ-02 since 1995.
In late November 2019, Van Drew vowed that he would remain as a Democrat, even though he opposed impeaching Trump. In December 2019, it was reported that Van Drew was considering switching to the Republican Party for the 2020 elections. Following a private meeting between Van Drew and President Trump, most of his senior aides resigned in protest. The planned conversion was met with praise and criticism by members of both parties. After reports that he was planning to switch parties to the GOP, the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of fiscally conservative Democrats, dropped him from their ranks. The Cook Political Report changed the rating for the district from "Toss-up" to "Leans Republican" on December 16, 2019.
On December 19, 2019, Van Drew publicly announced his decision to join the Republican Party, telling Trump that he has his "undying support." As a result, Trump endorsed him for re-election. In December 2019, Van Drew hired former Trump administration political director Bill Stepien as a 2020 campaign adviser. Van Drew officially switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican on January 7, 2020. On January 28, President Trump held a rally for Van Drew at the Wildwoods Convention Center, joined by the congressman, state senators Chris Brown and Mike Testa, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Van Drew said during his campaign that, if elected, he would not support Nancy Pelosi to be the next Speaker of the House. His first vote in Congress was "no" for Speaker which was recorded as "present" under the rules.
In October 2019, he announced that he would oppose the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. On October 31, 2019, he and Collin Peterson were the only Democrats to vote against the rules for an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. He was also one of two Democrats to vote against both articles of impeachment on December 18, 2019, along with Collin Peterson, though it had already been leaked prior to the impeachment vote that he was planning to switch parties.
Prior to switching parties, Van Drew voted in line with Democrats 89.7% of the time during his tenure in Congress.
- Committee on Homeland Security
- Committee on Education and Labor
In his run for state senate in 2007, Van Drew remarked, "I’m proud to be a Democrat because to me it always represented working people, middle class people and issues of compassion." Van Drew represented Republican-leaning Cape May County in the assembly, and accordingly took politically moderate positions. He was one of the most conservative Democrats in the New Jersey state senate. As of January 2020, FiveThirtyEight, which tracks Congressional votes, reports that Van Drew has voted with President Trump 11.7% of the time.
During his congressional primary campaign, Van Drew had a 100% rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA). In 2007 and 2008, Van Drew received $2,700 from the National Shooting Sports Foundation Inc., and in 2008, Van Drew received $1,000 from the NRA. In 2010, Van Drew sponsored legislation that would allow residents to carry a handgun after going through a background check, taking a firearms training course, passing a test, and paying a $500 fee. In 2013, Van Drew voted as the only Democrat against a series of 10 gun control bills following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Van Drew also voiced support for expanded background checks and the regulation for silencers. Despite his pro-gun stance, the gun-control group Moms Demand Action designated Van Drew a "Gun Sense Candidate".
In 2012 as state senator, Van Drew voted against a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey, one of two Democrats in opposition. In 2013 during his reelection campaign, the non-profit New Jersey Family First sent out flyers stating that Van Drew "supports traditional marriage and letting the people vote on the definition of marriage," while his Republican opponent Susan Adelizzi Schmidt was in favor of same-sex marriage.
Also in 2012, Van Drew voted against raising the state minimum wage above the federal minimum wage of $7.25, the lone Democrat to dissent. On his campaign website, Van Drew highlighted his support for fully funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and protecting net neutrality. Van Drew also supported a state constitutional amendment requiring parental approval for abortions, which he later withdrew. As state senator, he also withdrew sponsorship of a bill to reinstate the death penalty in the state, which he previously favored.
Van Drew opposes offshore drilling on the Atlantic coast; in 2019 he joined Republican John Rutherford to introduce the Atlantic Coastal Economies Protection Act, which would prohibit seismic air gun testing in the Atlantic Ocean. The state senator previously voted to withdraw from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and supported the construction of a pipeline through the Pinelands.
As of 2019, Jeff van Drew had a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Coalition, 100% rating from Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and 0% from Conservative Review. He said he is pro-choice but opposed to late-term abortions.
|Democratic||Jeff Van Drew||125,755||52.9%|
|Independent||Anthony Parisi Sanchez||964||0.4%|
|Independent||William R. Benfer||816||0.4%|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
|Democratic||Jeff Van Drew||15,654||55.4|
|Democratic||Tanzira "Tanzie" Youngblood||5,417||19.2|
|Democratic||Jeff Van Drew (incumbent)||35,464||64.8%|
|Independent||Anthony Parisi Sanchez||652||1.2%|
|Democratic||Jeff Van Drew (incumbent)||34,624||59.4%|
|Republican||Susan Adelizzi Schmidt||22,835||39.2%|
|Democratic||Jeff Van Drew (incumbent)||24,557||54.0|
|Republican||David S. DeWeese||20,857||45.9|
|Democratic||Jeff Van Drew||28,240||55.7|
|Republican||Nicholas Asselta (incumbent)||22,469||44.3|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
- "Memorandum of Agreement Between the New Jersey Pinelands Commission and Dennis Township" (PDF).
- Senator Van Drew's Legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed March 31, 2008.
- "New Jersey Election Results: Second House District". The New York Times.
- "Rep. Jeff Van Drew Officially Switches Parties, Pledges 'Undying Support' For Trump". HuffPost. December 19, 2019.
- "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress ; VAN DREW, Jefferson".
- "Congressman Jefferson Van Drew". Retrieved 2019-10-31.
- Jeff Van Drew's Biography, Project Vote Smart. Accessed December 17, 2019.
- Assembly Member Jeff Van Drew profile, Project Vote Smart. Accessed August 8, 2007.
- Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey: 2004 Edition, p. 248. Lawyers Diary and Manual, LLC, 2004. ISBN 9781577411871. Accessed August 9, 2018. "He is a former president of the Dental Society and a board expert of the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry."
- Vince Conti (April 13, 2016). "County Struggled To Create Campus, Vision Took Form". Cape May County Herald. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Tamari, Jonathan. "Beck wins; Dems control both houses", Asbury Park Press, November 6, 2007. Accessed November 6, 2007. "Democrats, however, won two Senate seats in other traditionally Republican districts with victories by Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, and Assemblyman Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, who ousted Sen. Nicholas Asselta, R-Cumberland, and Sen. James 'Sonny' McCullough, R-Atlantic."
- Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election Archived 2012-07-13 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed January 7, 2012.
- Friedman, Matt (November 5, 2013). "Jeff Van Drew holds on to N.J. Senate seat in Cape May County". NJ Advance Media. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
- Senate, No. 1162, New Jersey Legislature, introduced February 14, 2008. Accessed June 26, 2018. "Sponsored by: Senator Jeff Van Drew... Synopsis: 'New Jersey Fair Market Drug Pricing Act'; establishes New Jersey Rx Card Program to reduce prescription drug prices."
- Matt Friedman (April 15, 2018). "How progressives got steamrolled in New Jersey". Politico. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- Jonathan D. Salant (November 7, 2017). "New Jersey Republican lawmaker Frank LoBiondo retiring". NJ.com. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- Jonathan D. Salant (November 7, 2017). "This N.J. Democrat will try to flip a seat in Congress after LoBiondo retirement". NJ.com. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- Joseph P. Smith; Anthony V. Coppola (November 29, 2017). "Van Drew will run for Congress in 2018". The Vineland Daily Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
- Bridget Bowman (February 20, 2018). "DCCC Announces Six More 'Red to Blue' Candidates". Roll Call.
- "Congressional midterm election guide: Who's running in the June primary".
- Writers, NICHOLAS HUBA & JOHN DeROSIER Staff. "Van Drew to seek LoBiondo's Congressional seat; Guardian considering run on GOP side". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
- Jonathan D. Salant (July 9, 2018). "House Republicans withdraw support of N.J. candidate after report says he shared racist screed". NJ.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "New Jersey Primary Election Results". The New York Times. June 11, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- David Wildstein (June 8, 2018). "Cook Political Report: Van Drew likely winner, Sherrill vs. Webber leans Democrat". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- David Wildstein (June 28, 2018). "Sabato Crystal Ball upgrades Dem chances in two NJ districts". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "Jeff Van Drew wins New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District seat". The Washington Post. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
- Writer, MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST Staff. "Van Drew vows to stay a Democrat, even as he opposes impeachment". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- Martin, Jonathan; Corasaniti, Nick (December 14, 2019). "Representative Jeff Van Drew, Anti-Impeachment Democrat, Considering Switching Parties". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- DeBonis, Mike; Bade, Rachael; Kane, Paul; Dawsey, Josh (December 14, 2019). "Rep. Jeff Van Drew, anti-impeachment Democrat, expected to switch parties after Trump meeting". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- Salant, Jonathan D. (December 14, 2019). "N.J. Democrat who opposes Trump impeachment flips to Republican party". NJ.com.
- Bresnahan, John, Caygle, Heather (December 16, 2019). "How Trump and McCarthy wooed Jeff Van Drew to switch parties". Politico. Retrieved December 17, 2019.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Bresnahan, John; Ferris, Sarah (December 16, 2019). "Staff exodus in Van Drew office after party switch". Politico. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- Tully, Tracey (December 16, 2019). "7 Aides Resign Over Rep. Van Drew's Plan to Switch to Republican Party". New York Times.
As news spread of the New Jersey congressman’s apparent decision, most of the staff in his Washington office quit.
- Tully, Tracey (December 16, 2019). "Praise for Rep. Van Drew From Trump, Scorn From Those at Home". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
- Salant, Jonathan D. (December 15, 2019). "Trump praises N.J. Congressman Jeff Van Drew, who's ready to switch political parties". NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- Hayes, Christal. "Is Rep. Jeff Van Drew a Democrat or Republican? He won't say on eve of impeachment vote". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
- David Wasserman (December 16, 2019). "Van Drew Party Switch Moves NJ-02 from Toss Up to Lean Republican". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
- Trump endorses Van Drew's switch to GOP
- Salant, Jonathan D. (December 27, 2019). "He helped elect Christie and Trump. Now Bill Stepien is trying to return Van Drew to Congress". NJ.com. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- Michelle Brunetti (January 28, 2020). "Trump praises Van Drew in Wildwood campaign rally". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- Joseph P. Smith (June 23, 2018). "Van Drew joins list of Democratic congressional hopefuls opposing their party leader". Vineland Daily Journal. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Michelle Brunetti (November 19, 2018). "Van Drew signs Dems letter opposing Nancy Pelosi for speaker". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Brunetti Post, Michelle (January 3, 2019). "Van Drew votes no on Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, but she wins". The Press of Atlantic City.
- Rambaran, Vandana. "New Jersey Democrat bucks House trend, says he likely won't back impeachment resolution", Fox News, October 30, 2019. Accessed October 30, 2019.
- House approves impeachment rules, ushering in new phase of inquiry, CBS News, Grace Segers, Kathryn Watson and Stefan Becket, October 31, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
- Edmondson, Catie (October 31, 2019). "Meet the Democrats Who Broke Ranks on Impeachment". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- Martin, Jonathan; Corasaniti, Nick (December 14, 2019). "Representative Jeff Van Drew, Anti-Impeachment Democrat, Plans to Switch Parties". The New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- Bycoffe, Aaron. "Tracking Congress In The Age of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- Eric Avedessian (October 25, 2007). "Democrat Van Drew looking at ethics reform, illegal immigration and government funding" (PDF). Cape May Star and Wave. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "Van Drew's 'No' on Impeachment Inquiry Leaves Room to Walk It Back". NJ Spotlight. November 1, 2019.
- Bycoffe, Aaron (2017-01-30). "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
- Amy S. Rosenberg (April 9, 2018). "N.J. Congressional candidate won't have to show hand on state gun bills before primary". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Amy Rosenberg (April 30, 2018). "Parkland survivor David Hogg calls out South Jersey congressional candidate Jeff Van Drew". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Matt Friedman (September 26, 2010). "N.J. senator pushes law allowing residents to carry handguns". NJ.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "Democratic Senator Jeff Van Drew Strays From Party Position on Gun Control". NJTV. May 30, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Matt Friedman; MaryAnn Spoto (February 14, 2012). "New Jersey Senate approves gay marriage bill". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Matt Friedman (November 4, 2013). "Anti-gay marriage group helps Democratic state senator". NJ.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Minhaj Hassan (November 29, 2012). "Van Drew: Only thing worse than minimum wage is no job at all". The Observer. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Daniel Marans (June 6, 2018). "Conservative Democrat Wins Primary In New Jersey House Seat". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- "NJ-02: Abandoning his "moderate" persona, Van Drew takes leftward turn on death penalty, pro-life issues". Save Jersey. February 14, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Brunetti Post, Michelle (February 11, 2019). "Van Drew introduces bill to ban seismic testing in Atlantic". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- Matt Friedman (February 21, 2018). "Van Drew's gun record riles progressives in Democratic primary for LoBiondo seat". Politico. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
- Brunetti, Michelle (January 9, 2020). "Fitzherbert endorsed by NJ Right to Life PAC for Van Drew challenge". The Press of Atlantic City.
- "New Jersey Department of State - Division of Elections". nj.gov.
- "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/07/2017 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. November 29, 2017. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2011-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "New Jersey Senate, (retrieved on 12/12/11).
- Congressman Jeff Van Drew official U.S. House website
- Jeff Van Drew for Congress
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Financial information at the National Institute on Money in State Politics
- Senator Van Drew at the New Jersey Legislature
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|New Jersey General Assembly|
John C. Gibson
| Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 1st district
Served alongside: Nicholas Asselta, John C. Gibson, Nelson Albano
Matthew W. Milam
|New Jersey Senate|
| Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 1st district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 2nd congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority