Two longtime democratic politicians have left the democratic party and both attribute their decision to Donald Trump. On Thursday, they announced that they had changed their party affiliations a few weeks ago in order to vote for Donald Trump. In New Jersey, especially in Camden County, being a republican is not a resume enhancer, so it takes courage of conviction to make the shift.
Audubon Park Mayor Larry Pennock said that his move was ideological and that his beliefs are in lock step with the republican party. Even so, he has considered making the move for years and that it was Trump’s candidacy that led him to make the jump. Pennock was a registered democrat for 40 years.
Audubon Park formerly Democrat Councilman John Carpinelli is now the only republican on the city council. He says that there is a lot of dissatisfaction in Camden County against the democratic party that has had a hammerlock on politics for decades while the suffering of the citizens has steadily increased.
Of Audubon Park’s 457 registered Democrats, just over 42 percent came out and were essentially divided between Democrats former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders for president in the primary election, voting 91-90. Of the 64 registered Republicans, just over 76 percent voted and overwhelmingly voted for Trump.
Camden County hosts over 155,000 voters with no political party affiliation as of May 31,2016 according to the New Jersey Department of State. Another approximately 135,000 are Democrats and over 43,000 are Republicans with a small number affiliated with minority parties. Unaffiliated, Democrat, and Republican registration increased 1.8 percent, 2.3 percent, and 3.9 percent respectively from January to June.
New Jersey congressional candidate Bob Patterson told Breitbart News, “For many, many years powerbrokers and political insiders have dominated Camden County, but the voters I’ve talked to are fed up with it. The insiders are going to find themselves on the outside in 2016.
“The mayor and councilman should be congratulated for having the courage of their convictions. I know the people of Audubon Park can count on them for representation far better than the political class has given them in Washington, DC.”