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Trump-Loving State Senator Just Switched Parties To Become A Democrat

New Jersey State Senator Samuel Thompson, who served as a delegate for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020, became a Democrat because of the 'betrayal' of Republicans.

Samuel Thompson; Donald Trump
New Jersey Legislature; Scott Eisen/Getty Images

New Jersey state Senator Samuel Thompson—who served for 14 years in the New Jersey General Assembly before being elected to the State Senate—announced he is leaving the Republican Party and planning to run for re-election as a Democrat.

Thompson—an avid Trump supporter who served as a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention in both 2016 and 2020—made the decision to leave the Republican Party after party leadership questioned his fitness to serve because of his age.

The New Jersey GOP indicated they would likely be endorsing the mayor of Old Bridge, New Jersey—Owen Henry—for Thompson's state senate seat.

Thompson—who is 87-years-old—cited age discrimination as the motivation for the party's decision to endorse another candidate.

He said party leadership told him they were worried he was "too old and might die in office."

Thompson disagreed, though.

"I'm a full-time legislator. I've been doing my job every day."
"I'm in my office from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday."
"I'm available seven days a week, 365 days a year."

Thompson seemed surprised New Jersey state Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho wouldn't allow him to enter the Republican Party's meeting after he suddenly decided to jump ship.

"He wouldn’t let me say goodbye to my friends that I served with for many years."

Oroho acknowledged he denied Thompson entry to the meeting, citing Thompson's apparent sudden change of heart.

"[Thompson] made a unilateral decision to switch parties without talking to anyone from either side."
"He didn't seem to understand that it was inappropriate for him to try to join us after he announced he had become a Democrat."

Thompson told The Associated Press on Monday:

"The betrayal by so many of my friends—that was too much for me. I am not leaving my party. My party leadership has left me."

Surprisingly, New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy had good things to say about Thompson in an emailed statement:

"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."
"Among his achievements, he helped create both NJ Kid Care and NJ Family Care to provide health insurance for working families and helped double income eligibility levels for the Senior Freeze property tax relief program."

He also welcomed Thompson to the party:

"The Democratic Party has always been a big tent party and I welcome Senator Thompson to our ranks."

Thompson still vehemently supports former President Donald Trump.

Thompson describes Trump’s presidency as a success.

He didn't seem to think this would hurt his chances with Democratic voters though.

When asked how he reconciled his faith in Trump with running as a Democrat, Thompson said:

"Everybody is entitled to their own choices and what they’re going to do."

Thompson seems confident of his chances in the election, but will have to wait and see how that goes.