Jeff Van Drew

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Jeff Van Drew
Member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 2nd district
Assuming office
January 3, 2019
SucceedingFrank LoBiondo
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 1st district
Assumed office
January 8, 2008
Preceded byNicholas Asselta
Succeeded byTBD
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 1st district
In office
January 8, 2002 – January 8, 2008
Preceded byJohn C. Gibson
Succeeded byMatthew W. Milam
Personal details
Born (1953-02-23) February 23, 1953 (age 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ricarda Van Drew
EducationRutgers University, New Brunswick (BS)
Fairleigh Dickinson University (DMD)

Jeff Van Drew (born February 23, 1953) is an American politician who is the U.S. Representative-elect for New Jersey's 2nd congressional district. A member of the Democratic Party, he has served as the New Jersey State Senator from the 1st Legislative District since 2008. He previously represented the same district in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2002 to 2008. He is a dentist by occupation.[1]

Van Drew was the Democratic nominee in New Jersey's 2nd congressional district in the 2018 election. He was elected with 52% of the vote against Republican nominee Seth Grossman, who received nearly 46% of the vote.

Early life and education[edit]

Van Drew was born in New York City.

Van Drew graduated with a B.S. from Rutgers University and received a D.M.D. degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.[1]

Political career[edit]

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.[1]

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.[2]

On November 6, 2007, Van Drew won his bid for a seat in the New Jersey Senate, defeating Republican incumbent Nicholas Asselta.[3] In November 2011, Van Drew defeated Republican challenger David S. DeWeese by a margin of 24,557-20,857.[4] He was reelected in the 2013 elections defeating Upper Township Republican businesswoman Susan Adelizzi Schmidt by 20 points.[5]

For the 2018-19 session, Van Drew serves 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.[1] In 2008, Van Drew sponsored the Fair Market Drug Pricing Act to establish the "New Jersey Rx Card Program to reduce prescription drug prices."[6]

District 1[edit]

Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 1st Legislative District for the 2018-2019 Legislative Session are:[7][8]

2018 U.S. House campaign[edit]

New Jersey's 2nd congressional district has 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".[9][10][11]

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."[12] He was endorsed by the eight county chairs in the district, as well as New Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross.[11] 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.[13] In the primary campaign for the seat, Van Drew faced William Cunningham, Tanzie Youngblood,[9] and Nate Kleinman.[14] Sean Thom dropped out ahead of the June 5, 2018 primary.[15] As of May 16, Van Drew had raised $412,555 for his campaign.[16] On June 5, 2018, Van Drew won the Democratic primary with 55.4% of the vote. On the same night, Seth Grossman won the Republican nomination.[17]

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".[18][19] In the November 5 midterms, Van Drew ultimately won 52.3% 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.[20] Van Drew stated during his campaign that, if elected, he would not support Nancy Pelosi to be the next Speaker of the House,[21] which he reiterated after winning his election, joining 15 other Democrats in opposition.[22]

Political positions[edit]

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.[23]

During his congressional primary campaign, Van Drew had a 100% rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).[24] 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.[25] 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.[26] In 2013, Van Drew voted as the only Democrat against a series of 10 gun control bills following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.[27] 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".[25]

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.[28] 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.[29]

Also in 2012, Van Drew voted against raising the state minimum wage above the federal minimum wage of $7.25, the lone Democrat dissent.[30] On his campaign website, Van Drew highlighted his support for fully funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and protecting net neutrality.[31] 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.[31][32]

On environmental issues, Van Drew opposes offshore oil drilling. The state senator previously voted to withdraw from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,[31] and supported the construction of a pipeline through the Pinelands.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Van Drew is a resident of Dennis Township, New Jersey.[34] Van Drew has served as president of the New Jersey Dental Society and a board expert of the New Jersey Board of Dentistry.[35]

Electoral history[edit]

United States House of Representatives elections, 2018[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jeff Van Drew 125,755 52.3%
Republican Seth Grossman 110,491 45.9%
Libertarian John Ordille 1,631 0.6%
Independent Steven Fencihel 1,046 0.4%
Independent Anthony Parisi Sanchez 964 0.4%
Independent William R. Benfer 816 0.4%
Total votes 240,703 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican
June 5, 2018 Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jeff Van Drew 15,654 55.4
Democratic Tanzira "Tanzie" Youngblood 5,417 19.2
Democratic William Cunningham 4,739 16.8
Democratic Nate Kleinman 2,443 8.6
Total votes 28,253 100
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2017[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jeff Van Drew (incumbent) 35,464 64.8%
Republican Mary Gruccio 18,589 34.0%
Independent Anthony Parisi Sanchez 652 1.2%
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2013[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jeff Van Drew (incumbent) 34,624 59.4%
Republican Susan Adelizzi Schmidt 22,835 39.2%
Independent Tom Greto 825 1.4%
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2011[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jeff Van Drew (incumbent) 24,557 54.0
Republican David S. DeWeese 20,857 45.9
Democratic hold
New Jersey State Senate elections, 2007[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jeff Van Drew 28,240 55.7
Republican Nicholas Asselta (incumbent) 22,469 44.3
Democratic gain from Republican

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Senator Van Drew's Legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed March 31, 2008.
  2. ^ Vince Conti (April 13, 2016). "County Struggled To Create Campus, Vision Took Form". Cape May County Herald. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ a b Official List Candidate Returns for State Senate For November 2011 General Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 14, 2011. Accessed January 7, 2012.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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."
  7. ^ Legislative Roster 2018–2019 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed March 22, 2018.
  8. ^ District 1 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed March 22, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Matt Friedman (April 15, 2018). "How progressives got steamrolled in New Jersey". Politico. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  10. ^ Jonathan D. Salant (November 7, 2017). "New Jersey Republican lawmaker Frank LoBiondo retiring". NJ.com. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  11. ^ a b 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Bridget Bowman (February 20, 2018). "DCCC Announces Six More 'Red to Blue' Candidates". Roll Call.
  14. ^ "Congressional midterm election guide: Who's running in the June primary".
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "New Jersey Primary Election Results". The New York Times. June 11, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  18. ^ David Wildstein (June 8, 2018). "Cook Political Report: Van Drew likely winner, Sherrill vs. Webber leans Democrat". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  19. ^ David Wildstein (June 28, 2018). "Sabato Crystal Ball upgrades Dem chances in two NJ districts". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  20. ^ "Jeff Van Drew wins New Jersey's 2nd Congressional District seat". The Washington Post. November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Michelle Brunetti (November 19, 2018). "Van Drew signs Dems letter opposing Nancy Pelosi for speaker". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ a b 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.
  26. ^ Matt Friedman (September 26, 2010). "N.J. senator pushes law allowing residents to carry handguns". NJ.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  27. ^ "Democratic Senator Jeff Van Drew Strays From Party Position on Gun Control". NJTV. May 30, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  28. ^ Matt Friedman; MaryAnn Spoto (February 14, 2012). "New Jersey Senate approves gay marriage bill". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  29. ^ Matt Friedman (November 4, 2013). "Anti-gay marriage group helps Democratic state senator". NJ.com. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  30. ^ Minhaj Hassan (November 29, 2012). "Van Drew: Only thing worse than minimum wage is no job at all". The Observer. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  31. ^ a b c Daniel Marans (June 6, 2018). "Conservative Democrat Wins Primary In New Jersey House Seat". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  32. ^ "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.
  33. ^ Matt Friedman (February 21, 2018). "Van Drew's gun record riles progressives in Democratic primary for LoBiondo seat". Politico. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  34. ^ Assembly Member Jeff Van Drew profile, Project Vote Smart. Accessed August 8, 2007.
  35. ^ 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."
  36. ^ https://www.njelections.org/assets/pdf/election-results/2018/2018-unofficial-general-election-results-us-house.pdf
  37. ^ "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.
  38. ^ "Official List Candidates for State Senate For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2015 Election" (PDF). Secretary of State of New Jersey. December 4, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2011-12-12. "New Jersey Senate, (retrieved on 12/12/11).

External links[edit]

New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Nicholas Asselta
John C. Gibson
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 1st district

2002–2008
Served alongside: Nicholas Asselta, John C. Gibson, Nelson Albano
Succeeded by
Nelson Albano
Matthew W. Milam
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Nicholas Asselta
Member of the New Jersey Senate
from the 1st district

2008–present
Succeeded by
TBD