Two major party candidates seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat will not debate each other after the U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo’s campaign declined an invitation by the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.

Daniel J. Douglas, the center’s executive director, confirmed that the campaign of LoBiondo, R-2nd, declined the invitation that the Democratic challenger Cassandra Shober accepted last month.

Shober, 45, said in a release that she was “extremely disappointed.”

“The people of this district deserve an explanation at least and an opportunity to hear the debate,” she said.

LoBiondo, 66, is seeking a ninth term in office. Campaign Manager Ron Filan wrote in an email that LoBiondo meets with groups and personally responds to many calls and that regional residents know him and his positions on issues.

Filan wrote the campaign did not think Shober “has shown her seriousness to this campaign nor the office for which she seeks” citing staff turnover, scant contributions and the fact the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s central campaign arm, has not highlighted this race.

LoBiondo last took part in a candidate’s debate in October 2008, when he took on Democratic challenger Dave Kurkowski in that campaign’s sole debate.

Four other minor-party candidates are also seeking the seat, but they were not invited to the debate at Richard Stockton College.

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