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Rep. Jefferson Van Drew switches to Republican Party

By Daniel Uria
Rep. Jefferson Van Drew switches to Republican Party
Rep. Jefferson Van Drew officially announced in a meeting at the White House Thursday he plans to switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.  Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Rep. Jefferson Van Drew officially announced in a meeting at the White House on Thursday that he plans to switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

The congressman from New Jersey met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the Oval Office where he said he has "undying support" for the president while explaining his decision to switch parties.

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"I believe that this is just a better fit for me. This is who I am. It's who I always was but there was more tolerance of moderate Democrats, Blue Dog Democrats or conservative Democrats and I think that's gone away," Van Drew said.

Trump described Van Drew's decision as a "very big announcement" and offered him political support.

"I'm endorsing him, OK? We're endorsing him. I can't speak for these two gentlemen, but I can say I'm endorsing him," Trump said, referring to Pence and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, who was also present.

Van Drew was one of three Democrats who voted against one or both of the measures to impeach Trump on Wednesday.

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"We were very fortunate he voted our way yesterday," Trump said.

On Sunday, five of Van Drew's staff members resigned from his office in a joint letter saying his decision to change parties "does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined this office."

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