TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Democratic state Sen. Jeff Van Drew says he is launching a bid to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Frank LoBiondo.

Van Drew said in a statement Wednesday that his top priority would be bringing "good jobs" to southern New Jersey's 2nd District. If Van Drew wins the seat in 2018, it would be a Democratic gain.

A dentist and volunteer firefighter, Van Drew has represented the southern New Jersey-based 1st Legislative District in the Senate for a decade, and for six years before that in the Assembly.

LoBiondo has represented the district since winning election in 1994. He announced his plans to retire earlier this month.

The district includes all or part of eight southern New Jersey counties and includes Atlantic City.