By Lauren Wanko
“I will be departing from the House during the Presidents’ Day recess on the 18th of February,” announced Congressman Rob Andrews.
Long-time Congressman Andrews this morning addressed a jam-packed room of reporters and cameras to announce he was leaving the House of Representatives after serving for nearly 24 years. The Committee on Ethics has been investigating the congressman for allegedly misusing funds. Andrews, who will lead Dilworth Paxson’s Government Affairs practice, insists his departure from the House has nothing to do with the investigation.
“It has no role at all. This is a decision I needed to make in order to fill this opportunity and I made because I think it’s the right one for my family,” Andrews said.
Andrews says the firm made him the job offer only a few days ago and he made the decision with his family this weekend, insisting if he didn’t take the job now, he’d miss the opportunity. Still there were many questions about the ongoing investigation during today’s press conference. One journalist asked if the congressman regrets using campaign funds to take his family to Scotland.
“Let me say this. I said when we refunded the Scotland fund, which we did before any complaint was filed, I regret creating any distraction that would take people away from my mission, which is to try to help people in my community and country. Have I made mistakes in judgement? Over the course I have. I think everyone has in a period of time, but I followed the rules and met the standards,” Andrews said.
Andrews says he has spoken with a number of South Jersey Democratic leaders.
“I told them my reason for my decision. I am extremely grateful for their support and the kind words and I will certainly be speaking to them in the hours and days ahead in the process of filling this seat,” Andrews said.
So who will fill the congressman’s seat? Within hours political analysts Sen. Donald Norcross announced he was running.
“I think he would make an excellent member of Congress,” said Andrews.
PolitickerNJ reports a running list of officials who support Norcross in a potential run for Congress, including Senate President Steve Sweeney and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. As for Congressman Andrews, he’ll begin the new job in March.