Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., who switched parties and now serves as a Republican, said that had President Donald Trump not been impeached, he would have considered staying on as a Democrat, even though there were "all of these other issues."
But, Van Drew told Fox News' "Fox & Friends," it was his interaction with a Democratic county chairman in his state that marked the "final point" that led to the switch.
"I was speaking to one of the county chairs, and as I spoke to that chair, he said that, 'I just want to tell you something: You absolutely are going to vote for impeachment,' and I said, 'No, I'm not,'" Van Drew related.
He said the chairman told him, if he wanted to run again in that county, he would have to "'vote for it, you're going to have to obey,'" and that was his final point.
"Because I'm going to vote in a way I don't want to vote, you're going to force me, and then you're going to allow me to run?" Van Drew said. "That's not what America is about. That's not what our election system should be about."
Meanwhile, Van Drew said he met with "a lot less" anger from Democrats than he would have thought over his decision.
"So many Democrats that we meet say, 'Jeff, you know, we like you as from whatever, in any way that you run, because we know that you're independent and we know that you believe in what you say and you do what you believe,' so I think that it hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought it might have been," Van Drew said.
"But it's a big step and a lot of people come up to me and say, 'Boy, you know, it took a lot of, I guess, intestinal fortitude is a nice way to say it, to go forward and do this,' and I believe strongly in what I did."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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