LoBiondo Not Seeking Re-election in 2018

Cites Extremely Partisan Political Atmosphere as Reason
Nov 07, 2017
U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (N.J.-2nd)

Add Rep. Frank LoBiondo to the list of establishment Republicans such as Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker who are not running for re-election due to the current nasty political atmosphere.

LoBiondo, who has represented New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District – which includes all of Southern Ocean County except the western half of Stafford Township and all of Barnegat Township – since 1995 announced that he will retire at the end of his current term.

“Today I announce I will not seek re-election in 2018,” said LoBiondo.

The 71-year-old made it clear he is not ending his long political career (before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives he was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly from 1988 to 1995 and, before that, the Cumberland County Board of Chose Freeholders from 1985 to 1987) because of ill health or personal reasons.

“As expected, there will be those who wildly speculate about my choice without any basis in fact. My decision is not health-related as I am in good health and continue to maintain a full schedule.”

So, why isn’t he running for  another term?

“As a freeholder, Assemblyman and now Congressman I always looked for solutions that produce real world results built upon cooperation and partnerships,” said LoBiondo. “People before politics has always been my philosophy and my motivation. Regrettably, our nation is now consumed by increasing political polarization; there is no longer middle ground to honestly debate issues and put forward solutions.”

There had been some speculation among political pundits for months that the moderate LoBiondo would not be seeking re-election. He had been maintaining a low profile for most of 2017, not holding many town hall meetings and not raising campaign funds. One congressman told The SandPaper on background that LoBiondo was becoming frustrated, a frustration that was echoed in Tuesday’s statement.

“As I am term-limited as Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee (one of LoBiondo’s pet projects was securing funding for the Atlantic City International Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration’s William J. Hughes Technical Center which is located at the airport) and in my position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, now is (the) appropriate time to leave,” said LoBiondo. “Furthermore, as some of my closest colleagues have also come to realize, those of us who came to Congress to change Washington for the better through good governance are now the outliers. In legislating, we previously fought against allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good. Today a vocal and obstinate minority within both parties has hijacked good legislation in pursuit of no legislation.”

LoBiondo took a moment to reflect on his congressional career.

“From day one I have always put South Jersey first and people before politics, giving 200 percent to representing our interests while promoting our way of life. From increasing veterans’ services and strengthening the footprint of our homeland security bases to growing our aviation industry and protecting our tourist-based economy through beach replenishment projects, I am immensely proud of the record I have accomplished. Helping people and constituent services is the most rewarding part of public service.”

Again, LoBiondo isn’t resigning; he’s simply announcing he will not be running for re-election. But he’s already looking toward the future.

“My wife Tina and I are looking forward to the next chapter of our lives in South Jersey.”  R.M.

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