NJ’s 11th congressional district is ground zero right now. The fiercest Democratic primary battle in the state so far was already underway this summer, a full year before Democrats in Morris, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties make their choice who they want to run against Rodney Frelinghuysen. Frelinghuysen has grown comfortable in the seat; he’s held it for 22 years, with 10 years in the NJ Assembly before that. As the scion of a political family stretching back to the American Revolution, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, he’s one of the most powerful men in the House – the most powerful in the New Jersey delegation.
But his time has come. One thing to remember about people re-elected so easily and for so long: It can make them over-confident, particularly in the rarified air Rodney breathes. It can make them flabby and unprepared for a vigorous, well-funded fight. And that he will have, if this Forum is an indication. And also prone to mistakes of hubris, like Rodney made when he went after the job of NJ 11th for Change’s Saily Avelenda. You’ll see Saily opening the video along with Marcia Marley of Blue Wave. Both groups sponsored.
Here’s the video of the NJ 11 Congressional Candidate Forum, moderated by The Record’s Washington correspondent Herb Jackson. As expected, Frelinghuysen didn’t show up. Five Dems and one Republican who want his seat, did.