Trump New Jersey Republican Samuel Thompson Switching Parties Amid Primary Challenge

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A New Jersey state senator and Trump Republican has declared his intent to switch parties after GOP party leaders questioned his fitness for office.

After serving four terms as a Republican, Samuel Thompson, 87, announced Monday that he will seek re-election as a Democrat. “I have not left my party. My party leadership has left me,” Thompson said regarding the switch, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Thompson’s decided to leave the GOP after state party leaders opted to support another candidate, citing concerns over Thompson’s age. “The betrayal by so many of my friends — that was too much for me,” Thompson stated, per the outlet. (RELATED: Town’s Entire Leadership Flees Democratic Party, Joins The GOP)

“It is my life. It gives me something to do every day when I wake up to get there and help people. The alternative is sit at home and just wait to die? I have to be active,” he said according to the Inquirer. “I think I’m doing a public service.”

Asked whether his friendship and support of former President Donald Trump would make his transition into the Democratic Party difficult, Thompson replied, “Everybody is entitled to their own choices and what they’re going to do.”

Middlesex County Republican Chairman Rob Bengivenga expressed his disappointment that Thompson, whom he considers a friend and advisor, wouldn’t continue on in that capacity.

Of the decision to choose another candidate over Thompson in the upcoming election Bengivenga told the outlet, “I was hoping the Senator would embrace it and work together as a mentor and advisor for the years to come.”

Though it remains unclear if the Democrats will offer up Thompson as a candidate, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy welcomed Thompson’s decision to join the party, calling him a “tireless public servant,” the outlet stated.