GOP Opponent to Jeff Van Drew Avoids Primary Against the Dem-Turned-Republican by Switching Districts

Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s (R-N.J) path to re-election just got a little bit easier now that one of his opponents decided to run in a different district.

As Politico reports, David Richter — who was seen as Van Drew’s toughest Republican opponent — decided that he would run for Congress in a different district, and endorsed Van Drew.

“I’ve made my decision. I am going to step aside from the 2nd District race,” Richter said an interview with Politico.

Instead, Richter will run in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional district against freshman Rep. Andy Kim (D).

Richter said that he was running in Van Drew’s district because it was “traditionally Republican seat that had gone blue in the last election,” and he wanted to reclaim it, but now that Van Drew switched parties, “That already happened.”

“Jeff Van Drew has become a Republican with the full support of the president, and I want to support the president,” Richter added.

News of his decision to run in the 3rd district led some to worry that the Republican Party would pressure Kate Gibbs, who already announced her candidacy, to drop out of the race.

But in a statement, Gibbs said she would not be pressured to drop out and challenged party leadership to support her candidacy.

“I was raised by a single mom who taught me how to stand up for myself and never back down from a challenge. To our party leaders who like to talk about empowering and supporting young Republican women to run and serve, well, here I am. The ball is in your court.”

Van Drew was one of two Democratic House members to vote against both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, and he became a Republican in part because of the impeachment effort.

After he confirmed he was switching parties, Van Drew said the president has his “undying support,” as IJR has previously reported.

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