Frelinghuysen retiring from Congress

Feb 01, 2018, 00:09
Frelinghuysen retiring from Congress

Shortly after current chair Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2018, Simpson issued a statement indicating that he would consider the chairman position.

Frelinghuysen, 71, had urged the Trump administration to support the effort created to ease rail traffic connecting Northern New Jersey to Manhattan, describing it as "the most important infrastructure project in the country" in a letter to the Federal Transit Administration earlier this month.

He was considered among the most vulnerable Republican incumbents ahead of the November midterm election, with several Democrats lining up to challenge him.

Frelinghuysen's district had long leaned Republican but was carried only narrowly by Trump in 2016.

Frelinghuysen says he's proud of his efforts to work in a bipartisan manner to advance the annual spending bills that make up nearly one-third of the federal budget. "My father reminded me often that we are temporary stewards of the public trust".

Mr. Frelinghuysen hails from a famous New Jersey political family and is in his 12th term. Still, in his first term leading the appropriations committee, he was entitled to four more years as one of the most powerful "cardinals", the term for the influential chairmen who oversee government spending. Frelinghuysen won re-election in 2016 by 19 points.

But Democrats had Frelinghuysen in their crosshairs this year, as they try to seize on President Trump's unpopularity in New Jersey and make gains in the Republican-controlled House.

"I'm still working toward making sure before I leave office in December we get all that work done", Frelinghuysen said Tuesday morning.

Republicans who could run for the 11th District include tax attorney Rosemary Becchi, a former Senate Finance Committee staffer who serves on the board of Running Start, which is dedicated to getting more women to run for public office.

Frelinghuysen's 11th District, which covers parts of Essex, Morris, Passaic and Sussex counties, will be one of the hardest hit in the country by the new tax law's $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for local property and state income taxes. As of her last fundraising report, in October, Sherrill had raised $732,509 - almost half as much as the retiring Republican.

"Representative Frelinghuysen's retirement opens up a very competitive seat that is moving quickly towards Democrats".

By then, Democrats had piled into the 2018 race, with Mikie Sherrill, a Navy veteran and federal prosecutor, garnering the most attention and largely clearing the field.

"This district has been held by a Republican since the 1980's, and we plan to keep it that way in November", Stivers said in a statement.

As WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-New Jersey) represents the 11th District in North Jersey and is in his 12th term. "We now have an opportunity for new leadership in Congress that will work to stop the reckless partisanship that divides our country", the candidate said.

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