In the race to succeed longtime GOP Congressman James Saxton, Republican voters in New Jersey's Third District have three choices, but one stands out: Medford Township Mayor Chris Myers.

Myers' two competitors in the June 3 primary are: Jack Kelly, 56, a 16-year Ocean County freeholder, and businessman and lawyer Justin Murphy, 42, of Tabernacle.

The winner will likely face Democratic State Sen. John Adler in November. Each GOP candidate shares some similar positions: no timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, make the Bush tax cuts permanent, move toward energy independence.

Kelly, of Eagleswood, has the most government experience of the trio, dealing with issues on the township and county level since 1979. In contrast, Murphy lacks experience.

Myers, 42, has been a councilman and mayor since 2002. But his knowledge of the issues and breadth of life experiences - as a naval officer, a Gulf War vet, and currently as a vice president for Lockheed Martin - give him the clear edge in a year when voters are seeking change.

Whether the subject is energy, health care or national defense, particularly missile systems, Myers seems well prepared and in tune with the needs of constituents in the Third District.

The Inquirer endorses

CHRIS MYERS

.