New Jersey State Sen. Vin Gopal, a Democrat, welcomes long-time Republican into party

Sen. Samuel D. Thompson who switched to the Democratic Party February 14, 2023. Photo: NJlegislature

New Jersey’s veteran lawmaker and Republican of many years, Samuel D. Thompson, announced he was switching sides Feb. 13, 2023, to join the Democratic Party.

NJ State Senator Vin Gopal speaking on Martin Luther King Day 2023. Photo: Twitter @vingopal

He was welcomed by the only Indian-American state senator in New Jersey, Vin Gopal, and other members of the Democratic Party.Sen. Thompson has been a familiar figure in various Indian-American events over the years.

In a press releases, Sen. Gopal, who represents Monmouth County and is the Senate Majority Conference Leader, issued a joint statement along with Monmouth County Democratic Chairman David Brown and Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp.

“Senator Sam Thompson has represented parts of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, now for more than 20 years – he has been a visible force at countless local events in both counties. We formally welcome him to the Democratic Party – along with his breadth of institutional knowledge and his love for the constituents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties,” said the statement from Sen. Gopal et al.

“Senator Thompson’s dedication to service extends across decades, going back to his service in the U.S. Armed Forces, and demonstrates what a committed public servant he is,” Gopal and others added, saying they looked forward to the new chapter in Thompson’s life and wished him the best in the nomination process.

Sen. Thompson told his party had left him and not the other way around.

A member of the NJ State Senate since 2012, and in the NJ General Assembly from 1998-2011, as well as a Delegate of the GOP for various party conventions, Thompson. 88, made the decision to switch to the other side of the aisle as re-elections loom and the GOP did not endorse his candidature for the party primary.

Changing his party affiliation at the municipal hall Feb. 13, Thompson told his party had “abandoned” him.

“I have not left my party. My party leadership has left me,” Thompson is quoted saying in



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