WILDWOOD, NJ-As many once never-Trumper disguised as GOP leadership get ready to sit in their VIP seats to support President Donald J. Trump and newly minted Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew, one die-hard Republican is having none of it.
His name is Bob Patterson and he is now the only Republican challenger left in the CD-2 campaign against former Democrat Jeff Van Drew.
“When I decided to run against Rep. Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey’s Second District, he was one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House,” Patterson said today. “Republicans attacked him as a socialist who leaned too far left for a district that supported President Trump by nearly 5 points in 2016. So imagine my surprise when Mr. Van Drew reinvented himself as a Republican last month.”
Now, Republicans, including Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman, who came under fire last year for his firm’s financial support of prominent Democrats in New Jersey are lined up behind the President’s unlikely new ally, Van Drew. While GOP leadership embraced and endorsed Van Drew’s jumping ship, Patterson continues to oppose it.
“This was an odd switch … He has described himself as ‘strongly and unequivocally pro-choice.’ He has received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood, and he has bragged that he has voted 16 times to fund Planned Parenthood. The question is why the Republican establishment in New Jersey and Washington is rallying around Mr. Van Drew,” Patterson said. “GOP press releases that attacked him only weeks ago have disappeared from the internet. Mr. Van Drew’s new cheerleaders have encouraged me and other Republicans to drop out of the race.”
If Patterson can continue to stay in the race, being the lone conservative candidate in the district challenging the establishment’s choice of Van Drew, he might just be able to pull it off.