A supporter of former President Donald Trump is crossing the political aisle — to become a Democrat.
New Jersey state Sen. Samuel Thompson, a delegate for Trump in 2016 and 2020 who has hailed his presidency a “success,” said he was quitting the GOP because local party leaders questioned his fitness for office because of his age. Thompson is 87.
“The betrayal by so many of my friends — that was too much for me,” Thompson told The Associated Press on Monday. “I am not leaving my party. My party leadership has left me.”
Thompson will run for reelection later this year as a Democrat. He would have faced a “tough” GOP primary, reported the New Jersey Globe.
He served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1998 to 2012 before four terms in the state Senate.
In a statement, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) welcomed Thompson to the party.
“A former U.S. Army veteran and research chemist who served for over 20 years in the New Jersey Department of Health, Senator Thompson has built a reputation as a tireless public servant who prioritizes constituent services,” the governor said in a statement. “The Democratic Party has always been a big tent party and I welcome Senator Thompson to our ranks.”
Democrats now have 25 of the chamber’s 40 seats.