Rep. Jeff Van Drew, who represents the 2nd Congressional District in New Jersey, as well as John Yudichak, a state senator in Pennsylvania, have announced the possibility that they will leave the Democrat Party.
On November 19, 2019, nearly one month before Van Drew would reportedly switch parties, Yudichak announced that he would leave the Democratic Party.
Yudichak’s intentions were to become an independent and caucus with the Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate. Now he is not affiliated with any party. Yudichak’s decision was not influenced by the impeachment hearing against President Trump.
In November 2019, Yudichak explain his decision to Neil Cavuto of Fox News, saying, “I don’t see it as leaving the Democratic Party or embracing the Republican Party. What I’m doing in moving to become an independent is really trying to change the toxic conversation that we have going on here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the country.”
In December 2019, Van Drew also announced his decision to leave the Democratic Party.
President Donald Trump won Van Drew’s district in 2016, but the district also has more registered Democrats than registered Republicans, according to FactCheck.org.
During Trump’s impeachment trial, Van Drew was one of two Democrats who voted against the first article, abuse of power, and one of three Democrats to vote against the second article, obstruction of Congress.
Van Drew reportedly sat with Trump in the White House the day after the impeachment vote and announced that he would join the Republican Party, FactCheck.org noted.