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Rep. Van Drew Criticizes Democratic Governor Murphy’s Lack of Presence During Earthquake

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (Credits: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey is under scrutiny for not returning to his state immediately following an earthquake and its subsequent aftershock.

While attending a Democratic governor’s convention, Murphy chose to give remote interviews and statements instead of physically being in New Jersey during the natural disaster’s aftermath.

Phil Murphy (Credits: The Hill)

Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew criticized the governor’s decision, suggesting that Murphy prioritized the political event over his duties to his constituents, especially given that the earthquake, centered in Lebanon, New Jersey, was important for the state. Due to Murphy’s absence, Van Drew highlighted that New Jersey residents had to rely on New York officials for guidance.

Van Drew expressed that Murphy’s physical presence in New Jersey would have been a comforting symbol of leadership and reassurance to the residents, emphasizing the importance of a leader’s visibility and involvement during times of crisis.

Governor Phil Murphy (Credits: WHYY)

He noted that while the earthquake might not have constituted a crisis on a global scale, it was still an important event for New Jersey, marking its largest earthquake in almost 150 years.

This critique from Van Drew, who switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party during his tenure in Congress, underscores the expectation that elected officials prioritize their constituents’ safety and well-being, especially during unexpected and potentially distressing events like natural disasters.

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