TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey state Sen. Samuel Thompson said Monday he’s leaving the Republican Party and plans to seek reelection this year as a Democrat.
Thompson, 87, said in a phone interview that he decided to leave the GOP after party leaders questioned his fitness for office because of his age.
“The betrayal by so many of my friends — that was too much for me,” he said.
Thompson’s departure would expand the Democrats’ edge in the state Senate from 24 to 25 seats in the 40-member chamber.
“I was hoping the Senator would embrace it and work together as a mentor and advisor for the years to come,” he said in an emailed statement.
The primary is set for June, when Thompson could have faced a primary challenger against him in the GOP if he still ran.
It’s unclear whether Democrats will run a candidate against him in the party’s primary. »