Republican New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo announced Tuesday he won’t seek re-election in 2018, citing polarization and gridlock in Washington as his reasoning for his retirement.
LoBiondo, a member of the Tuesday Group, said he is confident he would have won had he decided to run again. The seat is now seen as in play for Democrats.
“People before politics has always been my philosophy and my motivation,” the 12-term congressman said in a statement. “Regrettably, our nation is now consumed by increasing political polarization; there is no longer middle ground to honestly debate issues and put forward solutions.”
LoBiondo, 71, is the latest in a slew of moderate Republicans to announce they won’t run during the next election cycle.
“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,” LoBiondo said. “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.”
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers applauded the New Jersey rep for his accomplishments, adding he believes the GOP will hold the seat.
“For more than 20 years, Congressman Frank LoBiondo has proven to be a steadfast advocate for veterans and utilized his private sector experience to champion vital reforms for his constituents in South Jersey,” he said in a statement. “While Frank’s leadership will be sorely missed, I am fully confident a strong Republican nominee will hold the seat and continue delivering results for the 2nd District.”