GOP Rep. LoBiondo to retire

GOP Rep. LoBiondo to retire
© Greg Nash

GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection in 2018, and pointed to increased political polarization as a reason.

LoBiondo, 71, said minorities in both parties increasingly have made it difficult to get things done.

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

“As some of my closest colleagues have also come to realize, those of us who came to Congress to change Washington for the better through good governance are now the outliers,” he continued. “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, who is serving his 12th term, has found himself on the other side of his leadership on high-profile issues in this Congress.

He voted against ObamaCare repeal and is opposed to the GOP’s new tax-reform bill.

He said he is not retiring for any health reasons, and that he was not worried about being defeated in a reelection bid.

His decision to retire does create a possible opportunity for Democrats.

While Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE won the district in 2016, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMontana governor raises profile ahead of potential 2020 bid Trump was right to ditch UN’s plan for handling migrants Ex-White House stenographer: Trump is ‘lying to the American people’ MORE won it by seven points over Mitt Romney in 2012.

LoBiondo’s retirement was first reported by Harry Hurley, the radio talk show host for South Jersey’s “Hurley in the Morning.”

LoBiondo joins a number of Republican lawmakers who have announced they will not run for reelection. Democrats are counting on retirements to help them win the 24 seats they need to retake the House majority.

The centrist Republican indicated in September that he did not plan to retire after his GOP colleague Rep. Charlie DentCharles (Charlie) Wieder DentLots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Dem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms MORE (R-Pa.) announced he will not seek reelection.

“I still have high hopes,” he told The Hill at the time.

LoBiondo oversees two subcommittees in the lower chamber, including the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee and the House Intelligence Committee’s CIA Subcommittee.