Frank LoBiondo, capitalizing on incumbency, name recognition and a deep war chest, handily won the Republican primary in New Jersey's Second Congressional District to run again for the seat he's held for 20 years.
LoBiondo, 68, first elected to the office in 1994, easily beat Republican challenger Mike Assad. Just before 9 p.m., with 13.41 percent of precincts reporting, LoBiondo was declared the winner with four times the votes as Assad.
Known for making appearances at local ribbon cuttings and special events - including Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian's inauguration on Jan. 1, LoBiondo had a substantial lead that never evaporated.
Assad, 27, a former Absecon school board member also challenged LoBiondo in the 2012 Republican primary, making Tuesday's night contest a rematch.
"Congressman LoBiondo is pleased by the strong support he received tonight," said LoBiondo campaign spokesman Jason Galanes. "As he always has, he will continue to put South Jersey first and looks forward to a spirited campaign this fall."
In the Second District Democratic primary, William Hughes Jr., 47, of Northfield, a lawyer with Atlantic City's Cooper Levenson firm, won nomination to run for his father's old seat.
William Hughes Sr. served in Congress from 1975 to 1995. The younger Hughes will challenge LoBiondo in the fall general election after beating David Cole.
Just after 9:15 p.m., Hughes was the declared the winner.
Cole, 28, of Sewell, who formerly worked for President Obama and is a tech industry executive, never gained traction among voters.
Hughes held a commanding lead throughout the night as poll results filtered in. Like LoBiondo's victory, the vote ratio was nearly 4-to-1 in Hughes' favor.
The sprawling Second District is composed of eight counties: Salem, Cumberland, Cape May, and Atlantic and portions of Gloucester, Camden, Burlington and Ocean with a total of 91 municipalities.
It is the state's largest district and among the most diverse. It includes New Jersey's poorest county, Cumberland, as well as farmland and rural neighborhoods in Salem County, while also encompassing tony seaside resorts in Atlantic County, such as Longport and Margate.
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