State Sen. and Democratic congressional candidate Jeff Van Drew swept all eight county conventions this year in his bid to win the U.S. House of Representatives seat that Frank LoBiondo will vacate in 2019.

Van Drew, who has served as the state senator in the 1st Legislative District since 2008, won all of the nominations over challengers from the progressive wing of the party that consistently hammered him on his voting record surrounding guns and the environment.

With the nomination, Van Drew will get the Democratic line on ballots in all eight counties on primary day June 5.

On Friday, one of those challengers, Sean Thom, ended his campaign.

“Stepping away from something you believe in and are so passionate about is never easy, but this is the right time,” Thom said in a statement posted on his website. “The various processes in the county conventions have concluded, and the outcomes were very clear. Senator Jeff Van Drew will have the Democratic line for the primary in every county of our Congressional District.”

But another progressive challenger, retired teacher Tanzie Youngblood, continues to campaign and is opening a campaign office in Pleasantville on Saturday. The office will be at 514 W. Washington Ave.

“We have an opportunity to make history here in South Jersey and across the country, yet, our party leaders want the same old, tired Republicans masquerading as Democrats,” Youngblood tweeted on Monday. “It’s time to put a stop to it.”

Linwood resident and former gubernatorial candidate Hirsh Singh recently won the support of Atlantic County Republicans in the congressional race over six other Republicans.

Singh has the support of Republican parties in four of the eight counties in the district. Singh previously won support in Burlington, Camden and Ocean counties. Former FBI agent Bob Turkavage won support in Cumberland County; Somers Point Councilman James Toto won Salem County; and Somers Point resident and businessman Brian Fitzherbert won Gloucester County.

Contact: 609-272-7260 Twitter @ACPressDeRosier

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