AVALON — Engineer, lawyer and businessman David Richter, the former CEO of Hill International in Philadelphia, announced Monday he is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-2nd, next year.

Richter lives in Avalon, according to his campaign information.

Richter, 53, filed paperwork Monday with the U.S. Federal Election Commission to launch his campaign, he said in a news release.

“As a civil engineer with more than two decades of experience in the construction industry, I understand what it takes to get things built,” said Richter. “In Congress, I plan to work hard to ensure the federal government is investing in South Jersey’s infrastructure — expanding our transportation network, keeping our environment clean and maintaining our coastline.”

He joins Brian T. Fitzherbert, 30, of Egg Harbor Township, in seeking the right to run against Van Drew. Fitzherbert is a project manager in the defense and aerospace industry.

Richter earned two bachelor’s degrees and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as master’s degrees from Oxford and Harvard universities, he said.

He and his wife, Michelle, have been married for 20 years and have four daughters.

Richter said he worked for 22 years at Hill International, rising from general counsel to group president to chief operating officer and eventually to chief executive officer.

During that time, Hill grew from a private firm with fewer than 300 employees to a New York Stock Exchange-listed global public company with more than 4,300 employees, he said.

Hill has overseen development of renewable energy projects and the cleanup of hazardous waste, and helped in large-scale recovery efforts, such as in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, rebuilding in post-war Iraq and Afghanistan, and reconstructing the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Hill’s projects in the region included the Battleship USS New Jersey Memorial and Museum, the FirstEnergy Park minor-league baseball stadium, the Comcast Center skyscraper, the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell Pavilion and Philadelphia International Airport.

Richter also launched his campaign’s website, which can be found at Richter2020.com.

Contact: 609-272-7219 MPost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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