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 March 1, 2023

After leaving the GOP, 87-year-old New Jersey state senator abandons his reelection bid

After abandoning the Republican Party, New Jersey state Senator Samuel Thompson has declared that he would not run for re-election this year.

Thompson, 87, has previously declared his intention to convert to the Democratic Party, alleging desertion by Republican leaders during his pursuit of another term. But, he has now notified the New Jersey Globe that he intends to focus on his personal life, according to The Conservative Brief.

“I have decided I’m not going to run for re-election,” Thompson said. “My priority should be my wife. She’s 91, and she’s had two falls in the last year and has trouble getting around. We are celebrating our 66th anniversary on Thursday. I owe her my full attention.”

Thompson was a Republican for four terms, but he declared earlier this month that he will run for reelection as a Democrat after state GOP leaders questioned his eligibility for office owing to his age.

"I have not abandoned my party. My party leadership has abandoned me," he said of the decision, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Thompson left the GOP because state party officials opted to back another, younger candidate. "The betrayal by so many of my friends — that was too much for me,” Thompson told the site.

When asked if his connection with and support for Trump would make the move to the Democratic Party more difficult, Thompson stated, “Everybody is entitled to their own choice and what they’re going to do.”

Bog Bengivenga, the Middlesex County Republican chairman, expressed disappointment with Thompson's choice and said he wouldn't continue to serve as his buddy and adviser.

The chairman expressed his hope that the senator will support the party's choice to support a younger candidate by acting as a mentor and counselor for future years.

According to the Inquirer, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy greeted Thompson and referred to him as a "tireless public servant." It is uncertain whether the state Democratic Party would support Thompson.

Another New Jersey municipal council recently changed its allegiance from Democratic to Republican, citing the "nastiness" and "vitriol" of politics at the federal level as well as the Dems' growing leftward movement.

The Daily Record reported that East Hanover, New Jersey town officials switched last week, as indicated by Mayor Joseph Pannullo.

“Municipal leaders have a responsibility to best represent their constituents, and it is our belief this change of party is in the best interest of the community,” Pannullo said in a statement. "As the nastiness, rhetoric and social media vitriol of national politics continues to infiltrate local governance, we collectively determined this was the best course of action to keep the focus on local issues impacting our community.”

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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