Long serving Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, says he will not seek re-election and will retire at the end of his term.
The New Jersey Republican was facing his first competitive re-election race in decades and joins a growing roster of GOP veterans who are heading for the exits.
Ben Dworkin, the director of the Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship at Rowan University, says Frelinghuysen’s retirement does not necessarily mean it’ll be easy for Democrats to win the district.
“You now have a new Republican coming in, someone who might not be facing the same difficult voting challenges that Frelinghuysen has been facing, and this person with a different track record may well be able to hold the seat.”
Seton Hall political science professor Matthew Hale believes the Democrats have a good chance of winning that seat in December.
“I think that Congressman Frelinghuysen just decided that he didn’t want to have to defend Donald Trump throughout the race and that he wanted to protect his legacy. I think he decided he wanted to go out as chair of the Appropriations Committee than go out potentially as a loser.”
Frelinghuysen says he's proud of his efforts to work in a bipartisan manner to advance the annual spending bills that make up almost one-third of the federal budget.