Congressman Rob Andrews resigns. What does that mean for South Jersey and for the ethics investigation he faced?
New Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews has announced he's resigning from his congressional post after holding the seat for more than two decades.
“I think I’ve had the best boss ever for the past 24 years in the people of South Jersey," Andrews said as he announced his intentions at press conference from his Camden County headquarters on Tuesday morning.
Andrews, a Democrat who is currently in his 12th term in Congress, represents Camden, Gloucester and Burlington Counties. He was first elected in 1990.
The 56-year-old Haddon Heights resident will be heading up the government affairs office of prominent Philadelphia law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP. He said his family has "very deep and personal connections" to the organization.
“It appeared that this was an opportunity that was here now and that would not be here in the coming months," he said. He added that the decision was a personal one that was "right for my family and right for the future" as his daughters move towards college.
The 12-term congressman made it a point to emphasize that the resignation was not a result of the recent vitriolic partisanship that has gripped Congress.
“I don’t share any disaffection," he said. "I’m proud to serve with Republicans and Democrats."
Andrews plans to vacate his post on Feb. 18, which is the President's Day weekend, but his staff will stay on board until a successor is chosen.
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will need to schedule a special election to fill Andrews' seat. No word yet on when that may be.
The congressman's resignation comes as he is being investigated for potential ethics violations related to the use of campaign funding for travel.
A watchdog group called for an investigation into his use of $11,000 for a trip to California. His daughter, an aspiring performer, was in Los Angeles at the same time for a music recording session.
Andrews also reimbursed his campaign $13,000 after coming under scrutiny for taking his family to a wedding on the campaign's dime. His campaign then donated the money to charity.
The congressman has said multiple times that all of the spending was legal and fully disclosed.
His resignation would shut down the investigation since he would no longer be a member of Congress and would be out of the purview of the U.S. House Ethics Committee.
The New Jersey 1st Congressional District is a strongly Democratic seat that is expected to stay blue in the upcoming election.