The widow of former Congressman John Adler will run for New Jersey's 3rd District seat now held by Republican Jon Runyan.

Democrat Shelley Adler said Tuesday she wants to represent the district to protect the middle class, senior citizens and veterans.

"And I also believe I need to go to Congress to help restore the priorities in Washington, to end the partisan bickering, to not be so concerned with large oil companies and billionaires, but to instead be concerned about middle-class families," she said.

Adler, a Harvard Law School graduate, has served as a Cherry Hill councilwoman. As an attorney, she has represented individuals and businesses in corporate transactions and litigation. She said she consulted with her children and they agreed that she should run for the seat to continue her family's commitment to public service.

Runyan, a former professional football player with the Philadelphia Eagles, defeated John Adler in 2010 to win the seat. John Adler died last year of complications following heart surgery.