Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) will retire at the end of this congressional term, he announced Monday. Frelinghuysen has served as the representative for New Jersey's 11th congressional district since 1995 and was appointed to the chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee in 2017. He was one of only 12 House Republicans to vote against the GOP's tax bill, citing the negative impact it would have on his New Jersey constituents.
Frelinghuysen's retirement represents another opportunity for the Democratic Party to win back seats in the House in this year's midterm elections. NBC News' Alex Seitz-Wald noted on Twitter that President Trump only won Frelinghuysen's district by one percentage point in 2016. Even before Frelinghuysen announced his retirement, the race was expected to be competitive in the midterms.
Frelinghuysen is one of several prominent Republican lawmakers — among them Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), and Bob Goodlatte (Va.), as well as Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), and Bob Corker (Tenn.) — to decide to call it quits rather than run for re-election in 2018.
In a statement, Frelinghuysen said that he would devote "all of [his] energies" to passing appropriations bills for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. He also lauded the virtues of public service, writing that it "is an incredible way to turn your convictions into something that serves the greater good." Read his full statement below. Kelly O'Meara Morales