By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – Democrats in South Jersey think they can take back a congressional seat that’s been held by Republican Frank LoBiondo for almost two decades.

To that end, several party leaders are clearing a path for one potential candidate if he wants to make the run.

State Senator Jeff Van Drew won re-election last month in a district where Chris Christie was quite successful himself. That leads a half dozen county Democratic chairmen to sign a letter that’ll give Van Drew a little political breathing room.

Steven Caltabiano runs the Democratic Party in Salem County:

“Before we give any formal endorsements of any candidates for the Second Congressional District in the Democratic primary this year, we want to afford everyone who may be interested in it the time to be thoroughly vetted.”

Caltabiano hopes that will happen by the end of January.

And while that might sound like they’re hanging out the help wanted sign, Caltabiano makes it clear he believes Van Drew would be the strongest opponent to LoBiondo.

The only announced Democrat so far is attorney Bill Hughes, Jr., son of the man LoBiondo replaced in Congress in 1995.

Top Content On CBSPhilly