Five aides to New Jersey Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew quit Sunday over the lawmaker’s decision to switch to the Republican Party because of his opposition to impeaching President Trump, a report said.
The staffers informed their chief of staff, Allison Murphy, of the decision in a joint letter, voicing objection to Van Drew’s party-switch, according to POLITICO.
“Sadly, Congressman 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,” said the letter, which was obtained by the outlet.
Those who resigned were: legislative director Javier Gamboa, deputy chief Edward Kaczmarski, deputy chief Justin O’Leary, communications director Mackenzie Lucas and legislative staff assistant Caroline Wood, the site said.
Murphy, who joined Van Drew’s team when he was a state Senator, is expected to stay on board.
Van Drew, one of two Democrats who voted in October against beginning impeachment proceedings, met with Trump on Friday to discuss the move.
He intended to vote against impeaching Trump when the House votes on Wednesday after the House Judiciary Committee voted last Friday — 23-17 along party lines — to approve two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Van Drew’s South Jersey district voted for Trump by a 5 percent margin in 2016.
Rep. Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reacted to the news on Twitter, saying her committee would hire those who left Van Drew’s office.
”It’s right before the holidays and these staffers just quit their jobs to stand up for their Democratic values. We’ll bring them and others who leave on with the @dccc until they land new jobs that align with their values,” she wrote.
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