Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., plans to retire at the end of his current term in January 2019 due to the increased political polarization of Congress and his feeling that he can longer legislate effectively due to the political climate.
The 70-year-old lawmaker represents southern New Jersey, and is chairman of the House Transportation aviation subcommittee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence subcommittee on the CIA.
He said the decision was "not electoral."
“As expected, there will be those who wildly speculate about my choice without any basis in fact. My decision is not health-related as I am in good health and continue to maintain a full schedule," he said. "My decision is not electoral. Throughout my career I have always made my constituents and the interests of my district my top priority, therefore I am very confident voters would again reelect me."
Instead, he's making the decision because he feels he can no longer do the job he was sent to Washington to do.
“As I am term-limited as Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee and in my position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, now is appropriate time to leave. Furthermore, 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 said.
"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."
He added the "polarization" of politics means his role as a moderate is on shaky ground.
“As a freeholder, Assemblyman and now Congressman I always looked for solutions that produce real world results built upon cooperation and partnerships," he said. "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."
The district is considered "solid Republican" according to an Inside Elections analysis by Nathan Gonzales. However, immediate speculation from political analysts put the district into a "toss-up" category.