LoBiondo quitting Congress

Rep. Frank LoBiondo

Rep. Frank LoBiondo

Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) — who pledged to only serve six terms in Congress — said he will not seek re-election to a 13th term in 2018, citing increased political polarization as a reason.

LoBiando, 71, said “a vocal and obstinate minority within both parties” has increasingly made it difficult to get things done.

LoBiondo served on the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1985 until 1987, when he was elected to the General Assembly and served until 1994.

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in the 1994 midterm election as part of  the group that promised to implement Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America,” which like its 12-year term limits on members of Congress, failed to materialize after bringing success in the election.

Although he is considered a moderate Republican by some, LoBiondo voted with his party in 91.4% of votes so far in the current session of Congress and he backed President Donald Trump’s position in 85.7% of the votes.

LoBiondo endorsed Trump in early 2016, rescinded his endorsement in October 2016 after the Billy Bush recording surfaced, but ultimately ended up voting for him anyway.

LoBiondo said in a statement:

“Today I announce I will not seek reelection in 2018.

“I am sincerely humbled by the trust and responsibility the voters of New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District placed in me. I am deeply appreciative of the lifetime friendships I have made across the eight counties I represent. I am forever grateful to my talented and dedicated staff that have worked in the Washington and Mays Landing offices over the years.

“As a freeholder, Assemblyman and now Congressman I always looked for solutions that produce real world results built upon cooperation and partnerships. 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.

“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.

“My decision is not electoral. Throughout my career I have always made my constituents and the interests of my district my top priority, therefore I am very confident voters would again reelect me.

“As I am term-limited as Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee and in my position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, now is appropriate time to leave. 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.

“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 tourism-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.

“For a boy who grew up on a farm in Rosenhayn and looked to his father as a role model of how to do the right thing for the right reason, it has been a privilege to be South Jersey’s voice in Congress. I have always been focused, committed and determined to represent the people of South Jersey with honor and respect. The truly remarkable, caring and thoughtful people I have had the opportunity to meet, work alongside, and represent are the most rewarding gift that I will always remember and cherish.

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

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