U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews announced that he will resign later this month to accept a government relations position with Philadelphia-based law firm Dilworth Paxson.
Andrews held a press conference announcing his intentions Tuesday morning at his district office in Haddon Heights, telling reporters the move was a personal and family decision.
According to Dilworth, Andrews, a 12-term South Jersey Democrat, will represent the firm in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
"I couldn't be more enthusiastic about joining Dilworth at this moment in its history," Andrews said in a release put out by the firm. "I've enjoyed a long relationship with the firm and count many of its members among my dear friends."
Dilworth CEO Ajay Raju called Andrews' move a "welcome addition."
"We're committed to securing talent with the kind of deep, broad-based knowledge and problem solving expertise demonstrated by Congressman Andrews that allows us to enhance and expand the critical services and solutions we provide to our clients," Raju said.
Andrews leaves amid allegations that he used campaign funds for personal expenses and a 2011 trip to Scotland. The allegations are currently being investigated by the House Committee on Ethics.
Andrews first won the seat in 1990 when then-U.S. Rep. Jim Florio resigned after being elected governor. During his nearly 24-year tenure, Andrews made unsuccessful runs at both the governor's office and former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg's Senate seat, losing in the primary stages of each.
State Sen. Donald Norcross (D-Audubon), the brother of South Jersey power broker George Norcross, is widely believed to be Andrews' successor in a district expected to remain under Democratic control.
Senate President Steve Sweeney took to Twitter shortly after Andrews' press conference, announcing that he would be endorsing Norcross to take over Andrews' seat.
I am enthusiastically announcing my support for Donald Norcross for Congress. Donald will continue the great work of @RepAndrews— Steve Sweeney (@NJSenatePres) February 4, 2014
"I am enthusiastically announcing my support for Donald Norcross for Congress. Donald will continue the great work of @RepAndrews," Sweeney tweeted.
Dilworth was responsible for assisting George Norcross' Interstate General Media in the 2012 acquisition of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.
In a released statement, U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican member of South Jersey's congressional delegation, said he always found Andrews to be a "willing partner and tireless legislator."
"Though I respect the choice he's made for himself and his family, his absence from Congress as an advocate for New Jersey's interests will truly be felt," LoBiondo said. "I wish Rob the best going forward," he said.
Andrews is expected to officially resign over Presidents' Day weekend.
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