Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R)
Elected: 1994, 8th term.
Born: May 12, 1946, Bridgeton .
Education: St. Joseph's U., B.A. 1968.
Family: Married (Tina); 2 children.
Elected office: Cumberland Cnty. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders, 1985–88; NJ Assembly, 1987–94.
Professional Career: Operations mgr., LoBiondo Bros. Motor Express Inc., 1968–94.
The congressman from the 2nd District is Frank LoBiondo, a Republican first elected in 1994. He grew up in Vineland, on the vegetable farm his grandparents established after leaving Sicily. LoBiondo’s father started transporting his produce to market himself in a used truck, and as Atlantic City boomed in the early 20th century, he found that he could making a good living transporting the produce of other farmers as well. He created LoBiondo Brothers Motor Express, where the son worked when he was young. In 1987, Frank LoBiondo was elected to the New Jersey Assembly; there, he stoutly opposed new taxes and gun control laws. LoBiondo ran against veteran U.S. Rep. William Hughes, a Democrat, in 1992 and lost 56%-41%. After Hughes decided to retire in 1994, LoBiondo ran again. In the primary, he competed with state Sen. William Gormley, whom LoBiondo portrayed as favoring tax increases and gun control laws. A National Rifle Association ad called Gormley ‘‘a liberal in Republican clothing.’’ LoBiondo won 54%-35%, and then easily won the general election, 65%-35%.
|Frank LoBiondo (R)||167,701||(59%)||($1,520,178)|
|David Kurkowski (D)||110,990||(39%)||($192,143)|
|Frank LoBiondo (R)||16,026||(89%)|
|Donna Ward (R)||2,025||(11%)|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (62%), 2004 (65%), 2002 (69%), 2000 (66%), 1998 (66%), 1996 (60%), 1994 (65%)
In the House, LoBiondo has compiled a moderate voting record, especially on economic and labor issues, although he retains his conservative stance on gun control. On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he is the ranking Republican on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, a useful assignment for New Jersey. LoBiondo opposes oil drilling within 125 miles of the Jersey coast, and he worked against the Bush administration proposal to reduce the federal contribution to beach replenishment. He helped to enact the Delaware River Protection Act, increasing the liability for single-hull oil tankers that pollute.
In the 110th Congress (2007-08), he crossed party lines to work with Democrats on legislation to increase the minimum wage and, despite the opposition of GOP leaders, voted in June 2008 for extended unemployment benefits. In 2008, he voted against the massive bailout of the financial markets because he said that taxpayers were not sufficiently protected. On the Armed Services Committee, LoBiondo said he thought “all the time” about breaking with President George W. Bush on the Iraq war, but he opposed efforts to set a timetable for a troop withdrawal. He backed a ban on earmarks, advocating disclosure of the sponsors of such spending, but said he would continue to pursue them actively for his district.
LoBiondo maintains a low profile on Capitol Hill and seems content to climb the seniority ladder at the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. When he was first elected, LoBiondo promised to serve no more than 12 years but has since broken that pledge. Still, he routinely wins re-election with 60% of the vote or more. In 2008 he was re-elected 59%-39%, the first time that he had fallen short of 60% but still impressive in a competitive district in a Democratic year.