Van Drew won’t challenge LoBiondo

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Sen. Jeff Van Drew announced today, Jan. 27, that he will not run for Congress.

Van Drew’s name has often come up as a potential challenger to veteran Republican U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, who has repeatedly won reelection by strong margins. So far, Bill Hughes Jr., the son of the former Democratic congressman Bill Hughes, has stated he will seek the seat.

In a prepared statement, Van Drew expressed appreciation for the support he has received, especially that of the county Democratic leaders who have been waiting for him to make a decision before they do any endorsements.

“I want to express my sincere appreciation to the Chairmen of South Jersey for their unwavering support. It was very heartening to feel that level of support and loyalty,” said Van Drew.

Van Drew stated he spent a great deal of time speaking with friends, family, colleagues, and Senate President Stephen Sweeney about the decision.

“After much deliberation, I have decided not to run,” Van Drew said in a written statement released by his office. "The state of NJ is more challenged now than at almost anytime in our recent history. I have the honor and responsibility of sitting on the Budget Committee, chairing the Community and Urban Affairs Committee, and Vice Chair of the Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. As a chairman of a committee and as a member of the budget committee I believe I am in a position in the State Senate to make a tangible difference in South Jersey. These decisions are never easy but I believe that at the present time this is the correct decision and wisest course of action.”

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