The 11th Congressional district in New Jersey does not include Maplewood and South Orange, but locals still took to email, texts, phones and social media to spread the news today that incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen would not seek re-election.
Politically progressive groups like SOMA Action have been working to ensure Frelinghuysen’s defeat in the midterm elections coming up later this year.
Many locals who attended the Women’s March in Morristown earlier this month sported signs calling for the ouster of Frelinghuysen as well as moderate Republican Leonard Lance of the 7th District (which includes Millburn/Short Hills) and other New Jersey Republican Congressmen.
“After [the 2017 march in] D.C., I was so hopeful, about big change happening. I thought surely the current administration would have been stopped from all the damaging actions they’ve undertaken,” Short Hills resident Felicia Geller told Village Green reporter Jaleh Teymourian. “Then given the year we had, I realized that we have to organize locally and work to get candidates elected here, at home, if we want to see change in Washington. Starting with knocking on doors and registering people to vote for 2018.”
In the wake of Frelinghuysen’s announcement, SOMA Action, released the following statement to Village Green:
“SOMa Action is pleased and excited about the news that Rodney Frelinghuysen will be retiring from Congress. As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Frelinghuysen was a powerful member of the GOP House Caucus and one of five GOP House members that SOMa Action and other progressive activist groups across the state have mobilized to unseat.
“We first recognize and applaud our friends and neighbors at NJ 11th For Change, the incredible citizen activist group that formed last year with the goal of replacing Frelinghuysen. Today’s news shows how effective such activism can be.
“Second, we want to thank the over 450 residents who rode the Resistance train and joined SOMa Action in Morristown last Saturday for the Women’s March. Surely 15,000 marchers in the suburbs of NJ had something to do with Representative Frelinghuysen’s decision 10 days later to retire from Congress.
“Finally, we invite anyone in our community who rejects the conservative agenda and who would like to continue organizing, mobilizing and protesting with us in 2018 join us as we work to repeal and replace the remaining three GOP members of the NJ Congressional delegation and help create a progressive wave across the country.”