Statement by Rep. Rob Andrews
In the course of the last few months, I have felt humbled and grateful that South Jerseyans from all walks of life and from all backgrounds have asked me to seek a return to the Congress of the United States in the November election. These expressions of support mean a great deal to me and my family, and I want to express my gratitude to all who have offered them. It was not my intention to answer the call of my neighbors and friends who have indicated they would stand with me if I sought re-election. As a Cornell Law graduate with considerable experience and expertise in law, finance, and pensions, I had several opportunities in the financial world that were very exciting and would have been very different from the world of government. In the past few weeks, I have reflected on the expressions of support and re-examined the needs, opportunities, values and obligations of my family. Our family carefully considered the substantial opportunities that the private sector would afford to us. Together, we also reflected on the meaning and value our commitment to public service. After much deliberation, thought and prayer, I have decided that I will seek re-election to the House this fall. The decision of who will be our party’s nominee is currently in the hands of several hundred committee people in the First Congressional District after Camille removed her name from the ballot. I am grateful that my wife Camille has served our community and our party by running and winning the June primary. I am also proud of the overwhelming support she received from nearly 90 percent of the primary voters, who clearly realized what an outstanding member of Congress she would be. Camille was very interested in serving the First District, but she ultimately decided not to seek public office because in the event I decided to accept a position in the private financial sector, she did not want conflicts with her ability to serve in Washington. I thank her for her love, encouragement and support. It is my intention to first ask the county committee people of the First Congressional District for the party’s nomination. I am grateful for the expressions of support I have received from Chairmens Beach, Norcross, Angelini and Perr. I am also thankful to Speaker Roberts and Majority Leader Sweeney for their unequivocal support. If I am successful in gaining the nomination of my party, I will ask the voters of South Jersey for their votes in the November 4 election. If I am honored with re-election, my focus will be to use my almost 20 years of experience in the House, and my seniority on the Armed Services and Budget Committees, to continue to create and protect the thousands of jobs in South Jersey and the region that depend on federal funding, including Lockheed Martin, L-3, our hospitals, universities, and small businesses. This region is already losing one senior voice, Congressman Saxton, which helped as part of a bi-partisan effort to protect those jobs, particularly in the defense area. To lose the two most senior voices in Congress in our region would have both short-term and long-term effects on the people of South Jersey. During what we already know are very difficult financial times, this weighed heavily on my conscience, and I cannot walk away from the people of this State to serve purely financial, personal needs. I will also focus on protecting South Jersey from being dumped on as a result of the proposed dredging of the Delaware River. In Washington, my role as chairman of the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee will afford the people of our region a major voice in the health care and economic legislation that our new president will offer. I do not believe I have ever seen a time when our people were as stressed and our country is as troubled as it is today. In my daily travels around South Jersey, I have encountered so many people who are struggling with problems that deepen every day. The work of my life is to contribute in the best way I can to the solution to those problems. In the time between today and Election Day, I will offer my ideas and record to our people and work to earn their votes. If I am entrusted with the office, I will work hard every day to better the lives of our people.