LoBiondo wins 11th term in Congress

Frank LoBiondo reacts with wife Tina to word of winning re-election at Vineland HQ (North Italy Club). Tuesday, November 4, 2014. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

ATLANTIC CITY - Incumbent Republican Frank LoBiondo - with his name recognition and reputation as a fighter for veterans, the elderly and the Jersey shore landscape, easily won an 11th term in Congress Tuesday with a victory over Democratic challenger Bill Hughes Jr.

Hughes, 47, a former federal prosecutor who works as a lawyer for the Cooper Levenson law firm here, was fighting to win back his father's old seat.

LoBiondo was declared the winner just after 9 p.m., carrying a nearly 3 to 1 vote margin over Hughes.

The elder Hughes was a Congressman from 1974 to 1994. LoBiondo first ran for Hughes' seat in 1992 but lost. He won the seat two years later when Hughes retired.

Throughout his year-long campaign, Hughes Jr., 47, portrayed LoBiondo as having become complacent after two decades in Washington, and as someone who had not delivered the goods, in terms of jobs for South Jersey.

LoBiondo, 68, on the defensive for most of the campaign, rolled with Hughes' punches and often cited his voting record as proof he was still in touch with his district. He portrayed himself as willing to buck his party when necessary.

He distanced himself from the casino closures in Atlantic City, stating they were regulated by the state and not Washington.

The sprawling Second Congressional District covers eight counties and 91municipalities - that range from rural areas in Salem County to toney resorts like Longport in Atlantic County.