Rep. Rob Andrews, 23-year member of the House of Representatives and South Jersey’s senior congressman, is resigning from Congress effective February 18th. Andrews is in the middle of his 12th term. He announced a few minutes ago that he will be heading up the D.C. office of Dilworth Paxson LLP (read: become a lobbyist). Interestingly, the firm’s website trumpets its role in the purchase of the Philly Inquirer and other media holdings to George Norcross’ company.
Andrews has been the subject of an ongoing House Ethics Committee investigation of improper use of campaign funds for Andrews’ personal use. The probe began after reports that Andrews was using campaign funds for trips to California, where his daughter was trying to start up a singing career.
Andrews’ departure will end that inquiry.
Word is that South Jersey and labor leaders will now rally around Donald Norcross to fill the seat in the reliably Dem CD. Norcross is expected to issue a statement later today.
Donald Norcross has had something of a charmed life in New Jersey politics. If he snags a United States Congress seat from here, it will be after only 4 years in elective office in the NJ legislature. And that career began, and and is defined by, getting appointed to seats and special circumstances that virtually guaranteed his success. Norcross, also a labor leader, is very much the beneficiary of his brother’s power.
Norcross and running mate Angel Fuentes were elected to the Assembly in 2009 after Democratic incumbents Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Joe Roberts both retired. Roberts was re-nominated in the primary, but announced that he would not seek re-election in September 2009, allowing his party to pick a ballot replacement: Norcross. He served only one week in the Assembly before being selected to replace Dana Redd in the NJ Senate. All very smooth, involving cogs in the Norcross machine clicking into place and essentially thwarting the Democratic process the voters of South Jersey should be able to exercise if it wasn’t already all done done for them.
Photo credit: @WireNewspapers