Jeff Van Drew


Senator Jeff Van Drew

A lifelong advocate for South Jersey, Jeff Van Drew is delivering results for veterans, seniors, consumers and children.

On November 5th, 2013, constituents in the First Legislative District elected Jeff Van Drew to represent them in the New Jersey State Senate for a third term. He previously served three times in the General Assembly where he assumed a leadership role when he was named Assistant Majority Leader. He has now assumed a leadership role in the Senate as Chairman of the Community and Urban Affairs Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and a ranking member on the Budget and Appropriations Committee.


Dr. Van Drew has earned a reputation as a strong advocate for southern New Jersey municipalities, but especially for veterans, senior citizens and consumers. He demonstrates a willingness to work on a bipartisan basis, addressing issues of vital concern to the residents of his district. In the past, he has earned the honor of having the highest percentage of bills passed in the Assembly.


He has received numerous honors throughout his terms, including the Conference of Mayors Legislator of the Year, NJ Veterans of Foreign War Outstanding Legislator of the Year, NJ Vietnam Veterans Legislator of the Year, Atlantic County Veterans Advocate of the Year, the Veteran’s Exercise Tiger Foundation’s Legislator of the Year, New Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance Award, Outstanding Conservation Legislator Award, Boy Scouts of American Citizen of the Year, and Association of Counties Legislator of the Year. He was also presented the Equal Justice Award by the New Jersey Association of Crime Victims for his efforts and pursuit of “Michael’s Law,” which stiffens penalties for repeat drunk drivers – getting them off the road and behind bars. The NJ Veterinarian’s Association also named him Legislator of the Year. He received the South Jersey Cultural Alliance Paul Aiken Encore Award and Standing Ovation Award, the Tourism Award from the Atlantic City Region Tourism Council, and the Garden State Seafood Legislator of the Year.


He believes in working across the aisle and in strong bi-partisanship in order to get things done for his constituents. He believes in fiscal responsibility to control the size of the State budget and to limit excessive borrowing.


Dr. Van Drew has sponsored various trend-setting legislation that would ban unwanted telemarketing calls; stop predatory lending practices; curb prescription-drug related errors; and establish certain consumer protection requirements for the cable television and telephone industries. He also sponsored a law that gave Veterans Groups the right to properly bury unclaimed veteran remains, which used to sit on shelves in funeral homes indefinitely. Now they will receive the respect they deserve. He has also sponsored legislation that will ensure the families of veterans who cannot afford to pay for the full cost of funeral services will now receive the help they need to cover those costs.


With thousands of our State’s veterans having fought, and continuing to fight today, in jungles, desserts and on beaches around the world, the least we can do is to provide them with free access to our beaches here at home. That is why he pushed through legislation allowing our beach communities to provide them with free beach tags.


Unfortunately, too many veterans continue to struggle to receive adequate healthcare. Many cannot afford healthcare on their own and have to rely solely on the VA, having to travel to Philadelphia, Wilmington, or even East Orange to receive medical care. These appointments can take up to 12 hours round trip for veterans traveling on shuttled services. That is why he continues to fight to bring a veterans hospital to South Jersey, as well as urging the federal government to allow veterans to go to their area hospital to receive their medical care, just like they would if they had a veteran’s hospital near them.


Dr. Van Drew also sponsored a recently enacted law that states that anyone can fly the American Flag wherever and whenever they want, as well as display “In God We Trust.” He works to strengthen New Jersey’s laws regarding animal cruelty and vehemently challenges any attempt to eliminate Shore protection or State Police funding for South Jersey municipalities. As Senator, he has fought successfully to save the Vineland Developmental Center, bring a new southbound bridge over the Great Egg Harbor Bay on the Garden State Parkway, and he fulfilled a promise for three new overpasses on the Parkway, removing the only traffic lights on the highway. He also worked with Verizon to bring high-speed internet and cell-phone service to western Cumberland County.


As Senator, Dr. Van Drew sponsored and pushed through groundbreaking legislation for children with dyslexia. He fought to make sure those New Jersey children with dyslexia and other reading disabilities are properly identified and receive the instruction they need to succeed. He fought to have the definition of dyslexia included in the State code, ensuring that teachers and administrators around the State would have a better understanding of the disability. He also fought for legislation that would provide teachers with the training and professional development they need to properly teach students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.


Dr. Van Drew has a lifetime membership in the New Jersey Fireman’s Association. He is a dentist, former President of the Atlantic Cape May Dental Society, former board expert for the NJ Board of Dentistry, and Chairman of Peer Review for the NJ Dental Association. He and his wife have two children and he resides in Dennis Township.

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