EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Frank LoBiondo isn’t assuming anything when it comes to getting re-elected to Congress, he said Saturday.
The longtime Republican incumbent visited all eight counties he serves in about 10 hours, beginning in Ocean City, Cape May County, and ending at the Elks Lodge in Atlantic County’s Egg Harbor Township.
He could face one of his toughest challenges this year when he goes against Bill Hughes Jr., who carries not only the Democratic endorsement but the name of his father, a former congressman who is the namesake of the William J. Hughes Technical Center.
“I’ve always run hard,” LoBiondo said. “I never take anything for granted. Obviously, there’s a little bit of a different dynamic this time around.”
Atlantic County Republican Club Chairman Keith Davis said he isn’t worried, but the one thing the party learned in the surprising loss of three-term Republican Assemblyman John Amodeo during the last election is to “always run like you’re 10 points behind.”
Despite Saturday’s dreary weather, LoBiondo said, he was met with passionate crowds at each stop. That was no different in Egg Harbor Township, where LoBiondo received rousing applause as he talked about problems with the current White House administration.
“We have a president who decides what laws to enforce. What laws to change. Who ignores the Supreme Court. Who ignores the people of the United States,” he said, as the crowd cheered. “That’s absolutely the wrong way to go.
“The leadership position the United States has held has been diminished,” LoBiondo continued, “I hope not beyond repair.”
Freeholder John Risley said he is proud to be on the congressman’s ticket and having a senior member of Congress like him is vital to this area.
“He’s fighting for Atlantic County,” Risley said. “Now is not the time to change things. That’s why it’s so critical.”
Several other Republicans were on hand, including Assemblyman Chris Brown, who won re-election last year, and Atlantic County Sheriff Frank Balles, who is kicking off his re-election campaign.
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