Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (born April 29, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 11th congressional district, serving since 1995. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career
Frelinghuysen is a member of a family long prominent in New Jersey politics. He is the son of Peter Hood Ballantine Frelinghuysen II, great-great-grandson of Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, and great-great-great-nephew of Theodore Frelinghuysen, who each represented New Jersey in the Congress.
After graduating from Hobart College in 1969, where he had been president of the Kappa Alpha Society, Frelinghuysen enrolled at Trinity College for graduate work. Frelinghuysen, however, enlisted in the United States Army before he could graduate from Trinity. Following basic training at Fort Dix, he served with the 93rd Engineer Battalion in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
After his military service, Frelinghuysen worked for the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders until he was elected to serve as a Freeholder in 1974.
Early political career
In 1983, Frelinghuysen was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, representing the 25th legislative district. He ran in 1990 for New Jersey's 12th congressional district, but finished third to Dick Zimmer and Phil McConkey.
U.S. House of Representatives
Like other Republicans from New Jersey, Frelinghuysen has a moderate voting record.
He is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, the Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans for Choice and Republicans For Environmental Protection. The Sunlight Foundation pointed out that among the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Frelinghuysen has the third-highest amount of investment in oil stocks.
Frelinghuysen has a mixed record on abortion, receiving a 50% from the NRLC and a 30% from NARAL in 2003. When he was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, he made a small financial contribution to the activist/civil disobedience group ACT UP.
In the 2000 elections, left-wing activist Michael Moore attempted to have a ficus challenge Frelinghuysen's unopposed re-election, to make a point about how rarely congressmen are held accountable for their terms in office. "Most run unopposed in their primaries and 95% are re-elected every time in the general election", as stated in the press release for the plant's candidacy, written by Moore, which also remarked, "We think it's time to point out to the Frelinghuysen family that we live in a democracy, not a dynasty." (Since 1793, New Jersey has sent six Frelinghuysens to Congress — four to the U.S.
Senate and two to the House of Representatives.)
On May 24, 2007, Frelinghuysen chased down a pickpocket who had stolen his wallet near his home in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Two Washington police officers saw the chase and arrested the 18-year-old suspect who had been caught by the 61-year-old congressman.
In 2009, Frelinghuysen was the chief sponsor of 16 bills, 11 of which had no co-sponsors. He co-sponsored 90 other bills, occasionally with Democrats on non-controversial issues.
Midway through his sixth term, Congressman Dean Gallo abandoned his reelection bid after discovering he had incurable prostate cancer (he died two days before the election). Frelinghuysen was chosen to replace Gallo as the Republican candidate in the 11th District. As this district is one of the most reliably Republi
can districts in the Northeast, this all but assured him of election in November. He has been reelected seven times against only nominal Democratic opposition.
December 19th, 2011