Citing ‘polarization,’ another Republican retires

On Tuesday, Rep. Frank Lobiondo (R-N.J.) became the latest Republican to announce he won’t seek reelection because of the political environment in Washington following President Donald Trump’s election last year.

Lobiondo, 71, is currently serving his 12th congressional term, putting him firmly in league with the DC swamp Trump promised to drain.

A longtime advocate of establishment Republican positions, the New Jersey politician has frequently found himself on the wrong side of the Trump agenda since the new administration came to power in January. Lobiondo voted against repealing Obamacare and has signaled that he will similarly reject the GOP’s tax overhaul.

In a statement, LoBiando blamed a growing lack of “middle ground” in Washington for his decision not to seek reelection.

“People before politics has always been my philosophy and my motivation. Regrettably, our nation is now consumed by increasing political polarization; there is no longer middle ground to honestly debate issues and put forward solutions,” he said in a statement.

“As some of my closest colleagues have also come to realize, those of us who came to Congress to change Washington for the better through good governance are now the outliers,” he added. “In legislating, we previously fought against allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good. Today a vocal and obstinate minority within both parties has hijacked good legislation in pursuit of no legislation.”

Democrats see the retirement as a 2018 opportunity to pick up a longtime Republican seat in a district which heavily supported President Barack Obama during both of his presidential elections. But that’s not likely to happen given the hefty support Trump garnered, 50.6 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 46 percent of the vote, in the 2016 presidential contest.


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