GOP Retirement Alert: NJ Rep. LoBiondo Driven Out By ‘Political Polarization’

Bill Clark/CQPHO

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to the House of Representatives in 2018.

“People before politics has always been my philosophy and my motivation,” LoBiondo, 71, wrote in a statement posted to his Facebook page. “Regrettably, our nation is now consumed by increasing political polarization; there is no longer middle ground to honestly debate issues and put forward solutions.”

The 12-term Republican said the decision to retire was not based on any health problems or perceived chances at winning re-election. Rather, he noted that, “[a]s I am term-limited as Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee and in my position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, now is appropriate time to leave.”

In his statement, LoBiondo said he and his colleagues who came to improve Washington, D.C. through “good governance” found themselves becoming “outliers”: “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.”

LoBiondo joins more than a dozen Republican members of the House of Representatives and two senators — Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to retire as opposed to facing re-election bids in 2018.

Following Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent’s announcement of his own retirement in September, LoBiondo told The Hill he didn’t plan to retire alongside his colleague.

“I still have high hopes,” LoBiondo said at the time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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