MOUNT LAUREL – U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, a one-time NFL lineman, stood his ground Tuesday and turned back challenger Shelley Adler, widow of the man Runyan defeated in 2010.
The Third District Republican defeated Democrat Adler and welcomed the cheers of several hundred supporters at the Westin on Route 73 here late tonight as he claimed victory.
The district was reconfigured during reapportionment into a more GOP-friendly territory, and in addition, Runyan parlayed diverse support from labor unions and business groups into a winning campaign.
Adler tried to paint Runyan as someone tied too closely to the far right wing of the party, while Runyan’s campaign hammered at her tax-hike votes in Cherry Hill, the town that was removed from the district during the redistricting.
“It is truly an honor that you have re-elected me to Congress,’’ he told his supporters as he was flanked by his family.
He thanked his wife for “keeping a lid on things back home,’’ and his children for understanding that “I’m fighting for their future and your kids’ future.’’
He said the two Republican freeholder candidates in Burlington County had lost.
“Let’s get back to work and turn this country around,” he said.