Policy expert: It's a bit early, but Trump's Van Drew support should make a difference

David Madden
January 09, 2020 - 1:19 pm
Rep. Jeff Van Drew.

David Madden/KYW Newsradio

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WILDWOOD, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — President Donald Trump has scheduled a re-election rally at the end of this month in South Jersey.

The invitation can be found on the president's campaign website for a Jan. 28 rally at the Wildwood Convention Center. Ben Dworkin, director of Rowan University’s Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship, has some opinions on the reason for the event.

"It's pretty clear that this was part of the deal that Congressman Jeff Van Drew made with the White House when he agreed to switch parties from a Democrat to being a Republican," Dworkin told KYW Newsradio.

Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron, a Democrat, concedes not everyone is thrilled about the visit, but he says he could personally care less about the politics of it all.

"It doesn’t really matter to me whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat," he said. "You should really just enjoy the opportunity and glow in this incredibly amazing time to have the president coming to town."

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Noting the split in public opinion, Byron added, "As long as these guys are orderly I’m Ok with that. That’s what makes America such a special place."

Van Drew has been getting a lot of grief from his former and new party. But he has Trump’s personal endorsement. And Dworkin says it may be early, but that photo opportunity will be important to Van Drew in the primary and general election to come.

"Certainly having the president come in and throw his arm around your shoulder and say 'This is my guy' is going to make a difference," he said.

He says it could also put added pressure on Republicans already declared for the June primary to give it a second thought.