By David Madden and Cleve Bryan

HADDON HEIGHTS, N.J. (CBS) — US Representative Rob Andrews (D-NJ), South Jersey’s senior member of Congress, will step down from his position later this month to accept a job at a law firm.

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Andrews, 56, is leaving the Capitol on February 18th. He was in office for 23 years.

During a news conference this morning, Andrews said he is accepting a position with the Philadelphia law firm of Dilworth-Paxson.  He says the job just opened and he “had to make a decision this weekend.”

Andrews says it is a better financial situation for his family with a company he’s known for 30 years adding, “The people I’m going to be working for were at my wedding.”

Andrews was in the middle of his 12th term representing a district dominated by Camden County.  He has been the subject of a House ethics probe for the last couple of years for his alleged use of campaign money for personal travel but says his decision has nothing to do with that.

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“Have I made mistakes in judgment?  Of course I have.  I think everyone has over that period of time,” he said today.  “But I have followed the rules and met the standards.  And I want to emphatically say again, this is a decision that I made because I believe that it’s an opportunity for my family to have a better life.”

Camden County GOP Chairman Tom Booth tells Eyewitness News,  “I have heard from sources that the congressional ethics committee investigation had been wrapped up and there would be some decision forthcoming about what to do about his conduct.”

Local party leaders are already talking about who would succeed Andrews in the seat which has remained solidly in the Democratic Party for decades. Andrews say he’d back state senator Donald Norcross, who later in the afternoon announced his candidacy.

The seat will be open until the general election in November.

For more information on the investigation, click here.

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