Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) is one of the most-watched members of Wednesday’s impeachment vote.
On Tuesday, Van Drew skipped morning votes on non-impeachment related matters. He showed up in time for an afternoon spending bill vote, making a cryptic comment about his impeachment leanings to assembled reporters.
“I’m not discussing any of that right now,” he said. “I’m reevaluating my life and my thoughts.”
Van Drew skipped a procedural vote Wednesday morning as well, as the House gears up for a full vote on the articles of impeachment in the evening. He was spotted in the chamber a bit before noon and voted on the second procedural motion of the day, breaking with the Democrats.
One of two Democrats to vote no on the impeachment inquiry, he has since seen his approval with his Democratic constituents plummet and has shed top staffers as he considers defecting to the Republican party.
He doesn’t seem dead set on the GOP though. Michael Suleiman, chairman of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee, told TPM that the two met after Van Drew’s vote on the impeachment inquiry in October. While Suleiman tried to convince him to vote yes on the articles of impeachment, Van Drew maintained that he would only go as far as a censure. Van Drew asked for Suleiman’s endorsement even if he voted no; Suleiman wouldn’t promise it. A huge chunk of registered Democrats in Van Drew’s district live in Atlantic County.
Van Drew also reportedly tried to extract an assurance that he could keep his DCCC employees even if he changed parties, an impossible sell for an organization whose sole purpose is to get Democratic representatives elected.
“He is not welcome in our party again, that’s for sure,” Suleiman said. “He made his bed, now he should sleep in it.”