After 23 years in the House, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen announced this week he will not run for re-election this year to represent New Jersey's 11th District. Mr. Frelinghuysen was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, one of the most coveted and powerful posts, making his decision to retire a significant blow to Republicans trying to maintain control of the House. Though we suspect he's fed up with people misspelling his name, Congressman Frelinghuysen did not give a specific reason for his decision to retire. Perhaps it was due to pressure from unhappy constituents who did not feel heard when he failed to attend in-person town halls or recognize weekly protests outside his district office organized by local group NJ 11th for Change. Or maybe it was because he was poised to face stiff competition from Democrats vying for a seat in a district that doesn't seem tied to one party: in 2012 Mitt Romney (R) won the district by five percentage points, in 2016, Hillary Clinton (D) lost the district by only a single percentage point, and in 2017 Gov. Phil Murphy (D) carried the district. Regardless of the reason, ol' Rodney is out, leaving yet another open seat for the taking this year. And, in case you haven't heard from just about every news outlet out there, 2018 is a big election year. With a New Jersey Congressional candidate filing deadline of April 2nd, there is still ample time for candidates to throw their hats in the ring for this race (we're looking at you, the more than 100,000 Arab Americans living in New Jersey). Because we agree with Rodney when he says "Public service is an incredible way to turn your convictions into something that serves the greater good...." So, hop to it.

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