State Sen. Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) tonight called for U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews to challenge U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg in a Democratic primary.
"In light of today's news stories regarding Congressman Rob Andrews' interest in running for the U.S. Senate this year, I strongly encourage Rob to run," Whelan said in a statement.
"Rob has been an outstanding congressman and a part of our extended family here in Atlantic County," the senator added. "He has always been there for us throughout his tenure in the House and there's no doubt that his being at the top of our state's ballot this year would be a huge benefit to our local ticket. As Atlantic County's highest ranking Democratic official I urge Rob to consider getting in the race."
Whelan's urging of an Andrews run came as Burlington County Democratic Chairman Richard Perr issued his own release, clarifying his position as another Andrews supporter.
"While I most certainly do not wish Sen. Lautenberg any ill will, I want
to set the record straight about a press release issued by his campaign
inaccurately listing my organization as having endorsed his re-election
efforts," said Perr.
"While Senator Lautenberg has served his country and our state honorably, Congressman Rob Andrews represents a new generation of leadership," Perr added. "That's why I support Congressman Andrews without reservation in any bid he may make for the U.S. Senate."