Blue Dog Coalition boots Van Drew

Members of the Blue Dog Coalition voted on Tuesday to remove freshman Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (D-N.J.) from the centrist Democrat group, following news he plans to switch parties in coming days. 

Reports that Van Drew, a vocal opponent of impeachment, was leaving the Democratic Party broke over the weekend, sparking blowback from members of the caucus. 

“Today, the members of the Blue Dog Coalition voted to rescind Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewThe Hill's Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida The Hill's 12:30 Report: First Kennedy to lose a Massachusetts election Ex-Democrat Van Drew speaks at GOP convention MORE’s (D-N.J.) membership to the Coalition indefinitely,” a senior aide to the Blue Dog Coalition said.

Rep. Stephanie MurphyStephanie MurphyDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Bank lobbying group launches ad backing Collins reelection bid House Democrats call on State Department for information on Uighur prisoner Ekpar Asat MORE (D-Fla.), co-chairwoman for administration of the Blue Dog Coalition, noted that members of the group are required to be Democrats.

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“Per our bylaws, which require all members to be a member of the Democratic Party, Congressman Van Drew is no longer a member of the Blue Dog Coalition,” she said in a statement. 

Van Drew declined to confirm his plans to switch parties to reporters on Tuesday. 

The New Jersey congressman won his race in 2018 to replace former Rep. Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoVan Drew wins GOP primary in New Jersey Amy Kennedy wins NJ primary to face GOP's Van Drew Stimulus price tag of .2T falls way short, some experts say MORE (R-N.J.), who retired after serving 12 terms representing the swing district. 

The news of the alleged switch has already sparked a Democratic challenger, political science professor Brigid Harrison, to come forward with plans to run for the seat. More challengers are expected to crop up. Five of his staffers also announced their resignations following the news.