In breaking news today, the Cook Political Report moved New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District in Democrats’ favor to “Toss-Up”. In their assessment, the Cook Political Report highlighted Rep. Frelinghuysen’s vote to advance the GOP tax scam, ethics issues and weak campaign infrastructure as key reasons for becoming increasingly vulnerable.
“This ratings change shows how vulnerable Representative Frelinghuysen is ahead of next year’s election,” said DCCC Spokesman Evan Lukaske. “Frelinghuysen voted for the Republican repeal bill, has voted with President Trump nearly 100% of the time and voted to advance the harmful GOP tax scam that will hike taxes on New Jersey’s middle class. Coupled with his ongoing ethics issues, it’s clearly time for Frelinghuysen to go.”
House: Ratings Changes in Seven Districts as GOP Majority in Peril
By David Wasserman
November 17, 2017
NJ-11: Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) – North central: most of Morris County
Toss Up. Frelinghuysen has waited 22 years to chair the House Appropriations Committee, but now that he’s there, he finds himself in the toughest race of his career. His once-safe Republican Morris County seat, dominated by suburban professionals, is rapidly moving away from the GOP: it voted for Trump by less than a point in 2016 and was the only GOP-held seat in North Jersey to vote for Democrat Phil Murphy for governor in 2017.
More troubling for Republicans, Frelinghuysen looks unprepared for his first real race in decades. In May, he drew an official ethics complaint after sending an intimidating note to a board member of a local bank warning that one of his high-level employees was a “ring leader” of an anti-Trump activist group in his district. The unforced error was reminiscent of those of former GOP Rep. Scott Garrett, who went on to lose the neighboring 5th CD in 2016.
[…] Meanwhile, despite his Appropriations perch, Frelinghuysen raised just $154,000, far lower than an average freshman incumbent readying for a fight.
More recently, Frelinghuysen was the only member of the New Jersey delegation to vote in favor of advancing a tax reform bill that would have cut the state and local tax exemption, potentially handing Democrats another line of attack in one of the most highly-taxed districts in the country. Despite ultimately voting against the entire package, Frelinghuysen’s behavior and voting record are making some Garden State pundits wonder if he intends to run at all.