A Democratic representative whose district in southern New Jersey went for President Donald Trump in 2016 said he will oppose articles of impeachment against the president.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) was one of two Democrats to vote in opposition to a resolution in October that established impeachment inquiry procedures.
Over the past several weeks of public hearings on impeachment, Van Drew said his position hasn’t changed.
“I’ll look at new information that’s presented. I’ll always have an open mind. But where I am now is where I was before,” Van Drew told The Hill on Friday.
The political news website also reported that some Democrats within his district, which was long been held by the GOP, may challenge him in 2020.
Atlantic County Democratic Committee Chairman Michael Suleiman warned Van Drew that his vote against impeachment might depress voter turnout in his district.
“I must touch on the political implications of a vote against impeachment on Atlantic County. Next year, as we are defending two Freeholder seats, a constitutional officer, and Democratic majorities in two municipalities, a ‘no’ vote on impeachment will suppress Democratic turnout down-ballot, which my organization cannot sustain,” Suleiman wrote in a letter published by the New Jersey Globe.
On Friday, Van Drew told the Hill that he isn’t concerned.
“Not at all. People vote individually,” Van Drew said, referring to Suleiman’s letter. “Nobody ever forces me how to vote,” he added.
Since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) launched the impeachment inquiry, Van Drew has been a vocal opponent of the process and said it would tear the country apart. He also claimed it would prove to be a losing tactic for Democrats as the Senate will most likely vote against removing Trump—if articles of impeachment get passed in the House.
“This has nothing to do with whether you like Donald Trump, or don’t like him, or want to see him have a second term or win in an election. This has to do with the institution of impeachment itself and not misusing it,” he told Fox News on Nov. 18.
Another vulnerable Democrat also indicated that he’s not sure how he’ll vote.
“I can’t say if I’m going to vote for or against something until I actually see it,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), according to The Hill.
According to political news website RollCall in November, 8 of the 10 most vulnerable districts that could be swung in 2020 are being represented by Democrats. Vulnerable Democrats include Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.), Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah.), Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa).
A new poll recently showed that Horn is at serious risk of losing her seat next year, and it appears to be the result of the impeachment effort.