As expected, Myers picks up endorsement in his home county

As part of his bid to capture his party’s nomination for the 3rd Congressional District, Medford Mayor Chris Myers on

As part of his bid to capture his party’s nomination for the 3rd Congressional District, Medford Mayor Chris Myers on Monday night accepted the endorsement of the Burlington County Republican Party.

"What I offer is my background as a businessman," Myers, an executive with Lockheed Martin, said as a counterpoint to Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly’s boast last week that Kelly has more experience than Myers as a freeholder serving half the 3rd Congressional District.

"I’ve met a payroll, and we’ve created 2,000 jobs in this area in four and a half years," answered Myers in an interview with after he addressed the Republican crowd assembled at the Riverton Country Club. "I know how to cut budgets. As mayor of Medford I’ve cut spending."

Myers said before he applied more conservative measures to the budget, Medford had its own milling machine, for example. Myers insisted on a shared services agreement for use of the milling machine that enabled the township to save money.

Myers said he also offers the specific experience as a Gulf War veteran and Naval officer.

Like his opponent, Myers said he is a pro-life candidate who likely would have voted for the War in Iraq based on the intelligence the U.S. Congress received prior to authorizing the war in 2002. Now, he said, "We have to get out of that war in such a way that does not make it look like they’ve won," said Myers.

Confronted about his role as an executive with a major defense contractor and how he could credibly cut spending at a time when the U.S. government is spending $9 billion in Iraq on a war he said he would have probably authorized, Myers said, "We have to ensure our strong national defense. Rule number one is if you do not have a strong national defense, all other rules go by the wayside."

Backing up her fellow Burlington County resident, Assemblywoman Dawn Marie Addiego tried to deflate Kelly’s argument that because he has served as a freeholder he can lay claim to more experience than Myers.

"Government experience in New Jersey isn’t necessarily what one needs to be in Congress," said Addiego.

In other endorsements, the Burlington County Republican Party picked Stacey Jordan of Moorestown, daughter off former Burlington County Freeholder Vincent Farias, to fulfill the unexpired freeholder term of Addiego. Addiego is abandoning her post to focus on her 8th District Assembly seat, which she won last November.

The party also endorsed Medford Lakes Councilman Gary Woodend, an attorney and longtime GOP campaigner, to fill the unexpired county Clerk’s term of Sen. Phil Haines, who was elected senator last year on a ticket with Addiego.

Finally, in the U.S. Senate primary, the party endorsed businesswoman Anne Estabrook over fellow Republicans state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and economist Murray Sabrin.

In her acceptance speech, Estabrook noted the challenge of becoming the first Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 36 years.

"Let’s go for it," she told the cheering crowd.

Monday night’s convention came after 3rd Congressional District candidates Myers and Kelly went before the party’s screening committee on Saturday. A third Republican candidate, former Tabernacle Committeeman and Burlington County resident Justin Murphy, refrained from presenting himself to the screening committee because he said he knew the machine would pick Myers.

"I don’t know Chris Myers, but I know he was handpicked by the machine," said Joe Wasik of Evesham, a self-professed conservative who said he likes Murphy.

Whoever wins the Republican nomination in the 3rd District will likely face Democratic Party favorite, state Sen. John Adler of Cherry Hill.

As expected, Myers picks up endorsement in his home county