Shelley Adler Enters 2012 NJ Race

Formal announcement kicks off campaign for her late husband’s seat

Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012  |  Updated 7:33 PM EDT
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The widow of the late NJ Congressman John Adler announced her candidacy to fill his seat on Tuesday. Democrat Adler will face Republican incumbent Jon Runyan in the Nov. general election. Neither candidate has a primary opponent.

NBC10Philadelphia

The widow of the late NJ Congressman John Adler announced her candidacy to fill his seat on Tuesday. Democrat Adler will face Republican incumbent Jon Runyan in the Nov. general election. Neither candidate has a primary opponent.

The widow of a former congressman has formally entered the race for his old House seat in southern New Jersey.

Democrat Shelley Adler announced Tuesday that she would run to represent the 3rd Congressional District, which includes towns in Burlington and Ocean counties.

The announcement is no surprise, but rather formalizes a plan she first talked about publicly nearly two months ago.

Adler is the only Democrat declared in the race. She's a lawyer and former Cherry Hill Township Council member.

“It’s a travesty that in 2012 there are no women in New Jerseys Congressional delegation, said Adler.”

She wants to unseat the incumbent, Republican Jon Runyan. The former Philadelphia Eagles player was elected in 2010 by defeating Adler's husband, John, who had held the seat for one term.

John Adler, was also a longtime state lawmaker, who died last year after tissue around his heart became infected.

“I will hold Congressman Runyan accountable for his votes and his politics,” Adler said.

One of the votes questioned by Adler during her announcement brought a response from Runyan’s reelection campaign.

Here’s what Adler said: “In the name of fiscal conservatism, Jon Runyan voted to eliminate Medicare. He voted to increase out-of-pocket Medicare costs by 6,000 dollars.”

Runyan for Congress issued a statement labeling the remarks as “dishonest attacks.”

“While we thank Shelley Adler for visiting the 3rd Congressional District today, it’s unfortunate that she chose to kick off her campaign by attacking Congressman Runyan with a phony charge about Medicare reform that the non-partisan watchdog PolitiFact called ‘The Lie of the Year for 2011,’” said campaign spokesman Chris Russell.

PolitiFact noted in a Dec. 2011 article that the House passed a budget last year that included provisions to keep Medicare intact for those 55 or older, while making changes for everyone else ranging from privatization to government subsidies.

Adler and Runyan are both running unopposed in the NJ primaries on June 5.

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