by Frank Holmes, reporter
Former President Donald Trump’s endorsement victories have started piling up in 2022… and last week they included an unbelievable feat: Republicans picked a Trump-endorsed former Democrat over a field of Republicans.
The successful candidate was Jeff Van Drew, a U.S. congressman from New Jersey who was elected to office as a Democrat in 2018.
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That Democrat won almost 85 percent of the Republican primary—and people across the country say he’s not just a one-off. He’s showing how the GOP will retake blue areas across the country.
He’s also shown everybody how to win landslides.
“Van Drew Buries GOP Opposition,” said the headline from Insider NJ.
He obliterated the Republicans who wanted to take him on—no small victory in his pro-GOP district—and is the hands-on favorite to beat his Democratic challenger in November.
Van Drew ran a smart campaign—but he also thanked President Donald Trump for endorsing him.
“He’s been with me all along. He’s supported me,” Van Drew told “Fox and Friends” after his smashing victory. “Not only did he endorse me, he’s had me at Mar-a-Lago and in New York” at the Trump residence.
Trump was influential in wooing Van Drew to join the Republican Party in the first place. The former Democrat announced the party change after a meeting with Trump in December 2019—and the president was thrilled.
“It was a tribute to him that he was able to win his heavily Republican district as a Democrat. People like that are not easily replaceable!” Trump said at the time.
Van Drew was one of a number of Democrats who joined the GOP during Trump’s administration, including West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. Like the straight-talking West Virginian, Van Drew is focused on the kitchen table issues every family really cares about—and who made things so much worse.
“Your groceries cost more because of President Biden,” he tweeted. “The White House still has no plan to ease the pain Americans are feeling at the pump.”
And he pinned the blame squarely on the president and his policies. “Out of control government spending has consequences,” he said. “Every decision the Biden Administration has made has been detrimental to our nation.”
Joe Biden is the “worst president, worst administration in the history of America, in my opinion,” he said.
That’s stunning talk, since Van Drew has only been a Republican for two and a half years. Until then, he served his entire career as one of the last conservative Democrats.
As a state legislator in Cape May, at the beautiful southern tip of the Garden State, he voted down Democratic attempts to take away his constituents’ guns. His principled take on the Second Amendment racked up an impressive 100 percent score from the National Rifle Association. His conservative district believed in traditional marriage, so he voted against gay marriage.
But he’s earned a top-notch Republican record in no time: He has an 83 percent score from the conservative grassroots group Heritage Action.
His instincts are so conservative that, even when he disagrees with the GOP, he votes the right way. Even though Van Drew still says he’s pro-choice on abortion, he’s earned a percent 100 percent voting record from National Right to Life, a pro-life group this session. This time out, that’s because he stood up against a Democratic bill to legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy—and another left-wing measure that would force taxpayers to foot the bill for abortions nationwide.
“As part of their pro-abortion crusade, Democrats have taken direct aim at these long-standing, bipartisan protections that generally prevent the federal government from using taxpayer dollars to support abortion procedures,” Van Drew wrote to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Some “centrist” Republicans like Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska don’t speak that forthrightly about the issue.
And his win helped breathe life back into the track record of President Donald Trump, who has had a few endorsements flop in recent primaries after J.D. Vance’s stunning success in Ohio.
Some think Van Drew and Justice show the path forward for yesterday’s blue-collar Democrats sick of their latte-sipping base.
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Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”