Burlington County Times
October 31, 2016

Republican Robert Patterson is hoping to win the seat held by Congressman Donald Norcross, a Democrat, representing New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District.

Both have South Jersey roots.

Patterson is from Cherry Hill, and Norcross grew up in Pennsauken.

Patterson was employed as vice president for government relations at the U.S. Business and Industry Council and was a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

He attributes South Jersey’s stagnant economy to the loss of manufacturing jobs. He is fixated on his plan to rebuild the U.S. Navy and is convinced it will create 50,000 manufacturing jobs and reverse what he calls the “de-industrialization” of the region. It includes the construction of two shipyards in the district, one in Camden, which Patterson says will return the Navy to a 15- or 16-carrier group force.

Certainly bringing many family wage earning jobs to the region would be beneficial, but area bridge heights and river depths may not be able to accommodate today's larger ships, construction would take 30 years, and the plan would require an additional $10 billion in federal spending.

Norcross, by contrast, has the experience and temperament needed to work in the best interests of constituents.

Elected to Congress in 2014, his background is in organized labor. He graduated from Camden County College’s skilled apprentice program and worked as an electrician and union official. He also represented the state's 5th District in the Senate and Assembly.

Yes, he’s the brother of businessman and influential Democrat George Norcross, but we believe Donald Norcross has earned his place in Congress and proved he won’t always toe the party line. He bucked his party and voted in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline because he wanted to bring middle-class jobs to the region, and he worked in unison with Republican members of Congress to add language to the annual defense spending bill to protect Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst’s fleet of KC-10 refueling jets, despite opposition from the high-ranking Democrats. Norcross sponsored the Veterans Freedom of Healthcare Act, which would allow veterans to choose medical options outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs system, and the Never Again Act, which aims to reduce veterans’ suicides by requiring the VA to provide emergency mental health treatment.

Patterson admits he is laser-focused on his plan to rebuild the U.S. Navy, and again, it may not be a bad plan, it's just the only one he has.

Norcross has been an effective advocate for the district and is the best candidate for the job. The Burlington County Times endorses Donald Norcross for Congress in the 1st District.