Republicans Lose 33rd House Member With Rodney Frelinghuysen Retirement

The New Jersey lawmaker has only served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee since last year.

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Another high-profile Republican member of Congress announced his retirement Monday, the second since last Thursday.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), who serves as chair of the House Appropriations Committee—a position he’s only held since last year—announced Monday that he would not seek reelection.

“Today, as I announce my retirement at the end of this session of Congress, I want to use the opportunity to strongly encourage the many young people I meet to consider public service,” Frelinghuysen wrote in a statement. “Public service is an incredible way to turn your convictions into something that serves the greater good and to do it alongside people from every walk of life and background.”

Since 1995, Frelinghuysen has represented New Jersey’s 11th congressional district, a wealthy suburban area in the northern part of the state that President Trump won by merely a point.

With his exit, Frelinghuysen becomes the 33rd Republican member of the House to not seek reelection after this current term. (Some of those individuals are outright retiring while others will vacate their seats to run for higher office). A number of the retirements have also been in either swing districts or districts that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Frelinghuysen is also the eighth GOP committee chairman to announce his retirement in the 115th Congress, with Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) being the most high-profile retirement before him.

Royce, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that he would not seek reelection earlier this month. Clinton won his district by nine points. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), a former chair for the House Oversight Committee, is relinquishing his seat in a district Clinton won by eight points.

Democrats, bullish on a potential wave in the upcoming midterms, have hoped to peel off wins in coastal liberal states including New Jersey, New York, and California.

After this retirement, there are only three remaining Republicans in New Jersey’s congressional delegation.