Andrews resigns from Congress; Norcross seeks to replace him

Posted: February 06, 2014

ROB ANDREWS needs to pay some bills.

The 23-year member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey's 1st District said yesterday that he was stepping down, citing future financial obligations and too many decades away from his family.

Andrews, 56, has been the subject of a House Ethics Committee investigation for using campaign money to take trips with his family to California and Scotland, although he insisted the investigation played no part in his decision to resign, effective Feb. 18.

"I made this decision because I think it's the right decision for my family," Andrews said during a morning news conference at his office in Haddon Heights, Camden County.

Andrews said he will lead the government-affairs practice at Dilworth Paxson, a large Philadelphia law firm where his wife, Camille, was once a partner. Dilworth Paxson, according to the firm's website, assisted Interstate General Media with the purchase of the Daily News, the Inquirer and in 2012.

With one daughter getting ready for college and another possibly going to medical school, Andrews said he did not want to work until he was 90 to pay off the costs. The Haddon Heights resident would not say how much he'll be paid by Dilworth Paxson.

"This is a debt we would not want to put onto our children," he said.

Andrews and many other Democrats in the state were quick to throw out a name to replace him.

"I would like to see Sen. [Donald] Norcross enter the race," Andrews said.

And he is.

Donald Norcross is the younger brother of George Norcross III, a longtime power broker among South Jersey Democrats and majority owner of the company that owns the Daily News. Donald Norcross, a former head of the South Jersey AFL-CIO, received endorsements yesterday from state Sen. Stephen Sweeney and Camden Mayor Dana Redd, whom he replaced in the New Jersey Senate in 2010.

Norcross said he was running for Congress because "I have spent my career fighting for middle-class families, senior citizens and workers. It is a sad truth that while some are doing better, too many are falling further behind. If elected to Congress, I will focus on creating jobs across South Jersey and an equal opportunity for everyone."

Norcross' daughter, Corey, is a lawyer with Dilworth Paxson.

George Norcross III said he's known Andrews for more than three decades and praised him for helping to build up the Democratic Party in South Jersey.

"Camden County and South Jersey is a better place because of his service to his community," George Norcross said. "The Democratic Party has become very successful in our region because of his leadership, and his representation in the House has yielded benefits to our entire region."

He declined to comment on his brother.

Andrews said Gov. Chris Christie will need to schedule a special election to fill his seat until November. Andrews said he hadn't spoken with Christie as of yesterday afternoon, and a spokesman for the governor did not return a request for comment.

Tom Rust, a spokesman for the U.S. House Ethics Committee, declined to comment on Andrews' resignation. When Rep. Henry J. "Trey" Radel III of Florida resigned last month after being convicted of cocaine possession, the House Ethics Committee's investigation of Andrews ended.

Andrews, who spent more than $200,000 defending himself in the investigation, repeatedly denied yesterday that it played a part in his decision.

" @JasonNark

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