News · Press Release

Inquirer: Van Drew Coronation Will Cost Taxpayers

Wildwood Mayor Wants Van Drew’s New Republican Party To Cover Costs

In true sign of bipartisanship and civility, Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron welcomed President Trump and Republican Jefferson Van Drew to his city for tonight’s rally. However, Van Drew personally booted Mayor Byron from the invite list.

According to the Mayor, he was told he wouldn’t be welcomed because he asked Trump to reimburse the city for the expense of the rally.

So much for the party of fiscal responsibility.

Van Drew’s coronation is going to cost this small town hundreds of thousands of dollars between security, overtime, and other costs.

REMINDER: Trump has a history of ducking in and out of South Jersey and leaving local residents to pay the price.

“Jefferson Van Drew should enjoy his coronation while he can. Once Trump heads back to DC, he’ll leave South Jersey voters to foot the bill and Van Drew to explain why,” said DCCC Spokesperson Christine Bennett.

Wildwood’s Democratic mayor isn’t welcome at the Trump rally
By Amy S. Rosenberg | January 28, 2020

Newly elected Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron, a Democrat, says he’s been banned from the Trump rally in his own town by Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a newly-minted Republican.

Byron ousted former mayor Ernie Troiano, a Trump acolyte, but had welcomed the president to his town as a historic and meaningful event, one he planned to attend. He also suggested he might seek reimbursement from the Republican Party for rally expenses.

In a conversation with Van Drew, Byron said he was told he wouldn’t be welcome. Troiano was given a VIP ticket.

“I was not invited,” Byron said Tuesday, hours before the rally. “I’ve been informed that Congressmen Van Drew and the President are upset with the fact that I said I think the city should be reimbursed.”

Byron said he told Van Drew he had shown respect for the rally, and that “you should show the same respect to me as the Mayor of the City of Wildwood. It shouldn’t be about I’m a Democrat or Republican.”

Byron said he still thinks the city should be reimbursed.

“I have no way of knowing what these costs will be,” he said. “These rallies can be pretty expensive. There’s a lot of overtime.”

He said the rally has been an economic boost to the seaside town and has led to national exposure. Byron said he would watch the rally but wouldn’t seek any alternate way inside the Wildwood Convention Center.

“I’m the Mayor,” he said. “Why should I have to sneak into an event in my hometown?” He said he was “very disappointed” in Van Drew, who he has known for years. “He’s still my Congressman and we need to have a relationship. The decision’s been made. This is his coming out party. You have a congressman and a president. Who else would he answer to?”

Earlier this month, after the rally was first announced, Byron said: “This isn’t about whether you’re Republican or Democrat. It isn’t even about the man. It’s about the position. … Check your affiliation at the door, and let’s just all participate in this monumental [and] exciting time for Wildwood.”


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