GOP's Runyan hangs onto seat in NJ's 3rd District

Former Philadelphia Eagles football star, Republican Rep. Jon Runyan laughs as he answers a question at his campaign headquarters in Marlton, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

November 6, 2012 9:14:28 PM PST
Republican U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan has held onto his seat in Congress by defeating the widow of the congressman he unseated two years ago.

The former lineman with the Philadelphia Eagles beat Democrat Shelley Adler in New Jersey's 3rd District, the most closely watched of the state's 12 congressional races decided Tuesday.

The 38-year-old first-term Republican was first elected in 2010 by defeating first-term U.S. Rep. John Adler, a Democrat.

Adler died last year at 51 from an infection of the tissue around his heart.

Shelley Adler is a former Cherry Hill Township councilwoman and a Harvard-educated lawyer.