Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews, who has represented southern New Jersey's 1st Congressional District since winning a special election in 1990,
will reportedly resign
later this month to join a law firm in Philadelphia. At one point in the not-too-distant past, Andrews had rendered himself persona non grata
in Democratic circles after his quixotic 2008 primary challenge to Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Unlike most members of the House who lose a bid for higher office, though, Andrews managed to stay in Congress by manipulating local pols into keeping him on the ballot
, where he continued to win re-election.
Rather remarkably, Andrews managed to rehabilitate his image after his disastrous Senate bid, at least among his caucus. He transformed himself from leprous outsider to consummate insider, and even became a "trusted lieutenant" of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. More recently, he'd also been dogged by an increasingly expensive ethics investigation into alleged misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses. But according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's unnamed sources, Andrews is leaving simply to cash out in the private sector, just as he very nearly did after the Lautenberg race.
And just as the fix was in then for Andrews' House seat, so it will be once again. Local Democratic leaders are reportedly set to rally around state Sen. Donald Norcross, the brother of South Jersey power broker George Norcross, a former labor leader. The Inquirer also expects that a special election won't be held until the regular November general election, meaning the seat will remain vacant until then. The 1st District is safely Democratic (it went for Barack Obama by a 65-34 margin in 2012), so given the seat's demographics and the fact that classic New Jersey machine politics will control the outcome, the "race" to succeed Rob Andrews will be about as uninteresting as they come.
9:15 AM PT (Laura Clawson):
Rep Andrews: A new opportunity has come to my attention, which will allow me to continue to serve my community in the private sector..
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