Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-11, is seeking the backing of his party for an 11th, two-year term.
We endorse his candidacy in the primary election on Tuesday, June 3. The 11th District includes Harding, Mendham Borough and Mendham Township.
The endorsement is in large part because of Frelinghuysen’s experience and record but also because his GOP opponent, Rick Van Glahn, is simply too far to the right.
Frelinghuysen is a relative moderate, although too many of his votes have been apparently tailored to appeal to the right wing.
And it would be better if he used his conscience more than his political savvy when casting votes.
For example, he has been in lock step with the Republicans on being dead against the Affordable Health Care Act or Obamacare. More than eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the law. The act is law; it was approved by Congress, so get over it.
But he has remained on the right side by being in favor of a woman’s right to choose abortion, in opposition to those on the far right, including Van Glahn.
Also to his credit, Frelinghuysen has not been as aggressive and cold-hearted as some members of Congress in his position on immigration. While some would simply deport non-citizens, Frelinghuysen has a more sensible and moral approach to shore up the borders.
He has mustered a fair share of political capital in his 20 years in Congress. That has led to his post as chairman of the powerful, House Defense Appropriations Committee, which oversees billions of dollars spent on defense and intelligence.
Being chair of such a committee has to play out in having influence in matters that directly affect New Jersey. Funding for Picatinny Arsenal and improving the Veterans Administration hospitals in Lyons and East Orange are just two examples.
As a longstanding member of the House Defense Appropriations Committee, Frelinghuysen has made numerous fact-finding trips to the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He is commended for having the initiative to see for himself how the military is doing in troubled parts of the world. That initiative is no doubt borne partly out of his own experiences as an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.
Another reason to support Frelinghuysen is his constituent services and his visibility in the district. He takes pride as his office quickly responds to constituent questions and he can frequently be found speaking at area schools and organizations.
Vote for Frelinghuysen in the GOP primary on Tuesday, June 3.