President Joe Biden appointed a former Democratic New Jersey state senator who toyed with the idea of supporting Republican Donald Trump to serve in a key regional leadership role at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Robert John “Bob” Andrzejczak was appointed by the Biden administration to serve as the state executive director of the New Jersey USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), with an annual salary of up to $164,858.
Since his defeat in the general election on November 5, 2019, Andrzejczak has been working as a real estate sales associate at Sotheby’s International Realty.
Andrzejczak has almost no qualifications in education or experience for a high-ranking agricultural job and his disloyalty as a Democrat is disconcerting to some Garden State activists but Governor Phil Murphy congratulated the former state senator in a tweet.
In October 2019, Andrzejczak refused to rule out voting for Trump in 2020 and said he would not vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders or Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the general election if either of those progressive contenders won the Democratic nomination.
“Oh god no,” said Andrzejczak, when asked if he would back Warren or Sanders. “No, I would not vote for them.”
Andrzejczak opposed the legalization of marijuana in 2019 but he co-sponsored a 2018 law to create a pilot program to research the cultivation of industrial hemp.
“One week before Election Day, Andrzejczak also refused to say if he would if he would support Biden or New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker if either won the Democratic presidential nomination,” according to one published report.
Andrzejczak was raised in the North Cape May section of Lower Township, New Jersey, and graduated from Lower Cape May Regional High School in 2004.
He attended the Williamson College in Media, Pennsylvania, before joining the United States Army in 2005 and serving as a sergeant in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division until his discharge following an injury in Iraq from a grenade explosion, which led to the amputation of his left leg in 2009.
Andrzejczak was sworn into the state Senate on January 15, 2019, after being appointed to fill the vacancy created when Jeff Van Drew was sent to Congress. Andrzejczak previously represented District 1 in the New Jersey General Assembly, a position to which he was first appointed to that position on March 21, 2013, after Matthew Milam resigned.
While in the Assembly, he served as chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, which appears to be his only experience with agriculture.
After opposing the first impeachment of Trump, Van Drew switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Republican on January 7, 2020.
Van Drew later supported attempts to overturn the 2020 United States presidential election and became one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election.
FSA staff work with agricultural producers to help ensure the well-being of American agriculture, the environment, and the American people through efficient and equitable administration of farm commodity programs.
The agency administers farm ownership, operating, and emergency loans; conservation and environmental programs; emergency and disaster assistance; plus domestic and international food assistance and international export credit programs.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C., including Scott Marlow as Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs in the Farm Service Agency, Tim Gannon as Chief of Staff for Farm Production and Conservation, Andrea Delgado as Chief of Staff for Natural Resources and Environment, and Sara Bleich, PhD as Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity for the Food and Nutrition Service.