Culbertson says he won’t run in 2010

Moorestown investor John Culbertson said today that he is not interested in running for Congress in 2010.

“I’ve given a lot of thought. I’ve actually spoken to a number of people and consulted a variety of folks, and I’ve decided that 2010 is not the right time for me to run – primarily for personal reasons,” said Culbertson. “I am not a candidate for 2010, but I am certainly interested if the time is right in the future.”

Although he did not have much of a history with the Republican Party in his native Burlington County, Culbertson was an intriguing candidate to some GOP insiders because of his ability to self-fund.

Republicans are working hard to recruit a candidate early to take on freshman U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill), who was the first Democrat to win a seat in the 3rd District since the late 19th century. Adler, obviously aware that national Republicans plan to target his seat next year, raised almost $500,000 last quarter.

The shortlist of possible Republican candidates includes Lockheed Martin executive Chris Myers, who narrowly lost to Adler last year; state Sen. Diane Allen (D-Burlington), who is a proven vote-getter but has a tense relationship with Burlington County Republican leaders; former Tabernacle Commiteeman Justin Murphy, who ran a competitive primary last year despite having little money and few resources; Ocean County State Committeewoman Virginia “Ginny” Haines; and even Freeholder Bill Haines, who is retiring from county government after his current term expires but is still considered a possible recruit.

Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly, who lost the primary to Myers last year, said that he is still weighing whether to seek reelection to the freeholder board in 2010 or make another run for the House.

Culbertson says he won’t run in 2010