The Democratic chairmen of the eight-county 2nd Congressional District have announced their support for former federal prosecutor Bill Hughes in his congressional bid.

Those supporting Hughes include Atlantic County’s James Schroeder, Cumberland County’s Robert Balicki, Cape May County’s James Pickering and Ocean County’s Wyatt Earp.

Hughes is set to challenge Republican incumbent Frank LoBiondo for his seat this fall.

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“Defeating Frank LoBiondo and delivering strong leadership that works for middle-class families starts by unifying Democrats, so we are excited to be building a unified front for victory this November,” Hughes said.

In a statement, Schroeder said LoBiondo has done little to combat gridlock in Washington and improve the local economy.

“Frank LoBiondo has been there for two decades and what do we have to show for it: No progress on the Next Generation Aviation Research Park, and South Jersey is plagued by the highest unemployment in the state,” Schroeder said. “It is time for change.”

Hughes is an attorney with the Atlantic City-based firm Cooper Levenson. He lives in Northfield.

Frank LoBiondo likewise has support of the Republican chairmen in each of the eight counties that make up the 2nd District, said Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis.

In a response to Hughes’ announcement, Davis accused Hughes of pointing fingers at LoBiondo while failing to address the region’s issues.

“Where has Bill Hughes been for the last two decades on job creation in South Jersey?” Davis asked. “All he’s done is worry about himself and his law practice since his last failed run for office.”

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More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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