House Appropriations Committee chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Morristown) announced yesterday that he would not seek re-election to a 13th term in the House, thus bringing his 24 year congressional career to an end once this Congress adjourns. Mr. Frelinghuysen’s father, Peter Frelinghuysen, served for 18 years in the House and represented a similar northern New Jersey constituency. Mr. Frelinghuysen is the eighth committee chairman to announce is retirement. He becomes the 36th Republican to retire, and the 51st member overall to not seek re-election.
New Jersey’s 11th District was designed to be a safely Republican district, but the electorate has been changing over the last few elections. President Trump carried the 11th by only one percentage point (49-48%), while losing the state, 41-55%. Four years earlier, Mitt Romney won the seat by a close but more substantial, 52-47%. Romney lost New Jersey to President Obama, 41-58%. In the battle to challenge Rep. Frelinghuysen, two Democrats, former federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill already has amassed more than $820,000 in her campaign account, while businesswoman Tamara Harris is knocking on the door of having $450,000 in spendable funds. But, the two will have to spend a substantial amount of their political capital to win the June Democratic primary.
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