Endorsement goes to Andrews

Two years ago, The Inquirer endorsed Dale Glading for Congress, largely because Rep. Rob Andrews had broken his promise not to run for reelection if he lost a bid for U.S. Senate.

Back then, Glading came across as a moderate Republican, though we didn’t agree with him on all of the issues. He was the best GOP candidate to emerge in the heavily Democratic First Congressional District in years.

Flash forward to 2010, and Glading and Andrews now face each other for a second round, with Andrews seeking a 12th term. But this time, Glading — apparently having sipped too much of the tea-party brew — has shifted much further to the right.

That’s disappointing, and troubling. His talking points now appear to come straight from the GOP playbook of just say no.

Glading’s support for repealing the health-care reform law alone is reason enough to reject his candidacy. There’s no way to declare him the better candidate.

While voters understandably will remain troubled by Andrews’ past deception, he is the best choice to represent their best interest, therefore The Inquirer endorses ROBERT E. ANDREWS.

Andrews, 53, of Haddon Heights, has been an effective member of Congress, and is on the right side on most major issues. He has a solid record as a insightful legislator, a budget hawk, and has been an independent voice for his constituents.

Indeed, it was his excellent record that led The Inquirer to endorse Andrews in his primary challenge for U.S. Senate against Frank Lautenberg. That failed effort set off the despicable game of musical chairs in which Andrews’ wife temporarily kept her husband’s congressional seat warm.

After Andrews lost the Senate primary, he jumped back into the congressional race and beat Glading, who lives in Barrington and runs a national prison ministry.

That voters were aware of Andrews’ sleazy move but reelected him nevertheless cannot be ignored. They have liked his representation of the district that includes much of Camden County and parts of Burlington and Gloucester Counties.

Andrews admits it was a mistake to unequivocally assert he would not run for reelection. He turned down a lucrative job at Goldman Sachs because he wanted to remain in public service.

In the Second District, The Inquirer endorses eight-term incumbent FRANK LoBIONDO. The moderate Republican congressman has an excellent record of service and has ably represented the district, which encompasses all or part of seven counties across the southern end of the state.

LoBiondo has token opposition from Democratic challenger Gary Stein of Mullica Township in Atlantic County. Stein, who owns a commercial cleaning business, has never held an elected office. He wrongly supports offshore drilling, and opposes term limits. He can’t match LoBiondo.