On the third district congressional endorsement score card, Medford Mayor and Lockheed Martin Vice President Chris Myers now leads Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly 2-1.
Representative Frank LoBiondo gave his support to Myers today, joining the district’s own retiring congressman, Jim Saxton in backing him during the early stages of what looks like a competitive upcoming primary. Myers also has the support of the Burlington and Camden County Republican organizations.
Kelly has Rep. Chris Smith behind him as well as Ocean County’s powerful Republican machine.
Whoever wins the Republican nomination will likely face the well-funded State Sen. John Adler.
LoBiondo said that the constituents of his district, which borders the third district to the south and also runs from the Delaware River in the west to the Atlantic Ocean in the east, share most of the same concerns as the second. As such, he said, he’ll be an effective campaigner for Myers.
“Chris brings a wealth of real world experience, service to his nation and also public service during his time as Mayor,” said LoBiondo. “While I don’t have rep in the district, I think I can bring a great deal of help to Chris and his ability to get on the ground running,” said LoBiondo.
Myers, for his part, said that he looked forward to working with LoBiondo in congress.
“Congressman LoBiondo fights tirelessly for NJ — all the beach issues, the shore issues,” he said.
LoBiondo’s district could also be in play this year. The Democratic Congressional Committee puts it in its top three most vulnerable New Jersey districts, although it will only likely be competitive if state Sen. Jeff Van Drew decides to run.
The other two – the third and the seventh – have both seen their incumbent Republican congressmen retire. But LoBiondo made it crystal clear today that he’s not going the way of Saxton and Rep. Mike Ferguson.
“I would find it hard to believe that anyone would think I’m not running. I am absolutely running for reelection,” said LoBiondo, who brushed off a question about whether he expects Van Drew to run against him.
Instead, LoBiondo said that he was focused on helping Myers.
“I’ll be happy to campaign with him. I’ll be happy to make appearances with him, and I’ll be happy to help him raise money,” said LoBiondo. When you go into these battles… you don’t go in half way. You go in all the way.”