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Nov 7, 3:06 PM EST

New Jersey GOP congressman LoBiondo to retire after 12 terms

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Republican official says 12-term New Jersey Rep. Frank LoBiondo plans to retire at the end of his term.

The 71-year-old congressman represents a wide swath of southern New Jersey and is one of the more moderate Republicans. He joins several other House GOP moderates, including Reps. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who have decided not to seek re-election in next year's midterms.

The Republican official wasn't authorized to publicly disclose the announcement ahead of the congressman and spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

LoBiondo serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Transportation panel in the House.

His departure gives Democrats a shot at the seat in a district that President Barack Obama won easily in two elections.

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