July 3, 2024
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John Bartlett Challenges Representative Frelinghuysen for Congress

In what is already expected to be a heated congressional race, a new Democratic challenger has entered the ring. John Bartlett, a Passaic County Freeholder, officially announced on Friday, July 7, his intention to run against current Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R). In doing so, Bartlett will be pitted against two other Democrats who have already begun their campaigns, and Republican Martin Hewitt. Jack McKeon of West Orange and Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark—both Democrats—are also considering running but have yet to officially announce their intent.

Although Representative Frelinghuysen has enjoyed widespread support for his 13 years in office, garnering over 58 percent of the vote in all of his 12 elections, in the past year this support has faltered due to his support of controversial measures put forth by President Donald Trump and the Republican party. In particular, Frelinghuysen’s constituents have been angered by his backing of the American Health Care Act, the Republicans’ replacement for the Affordable Care Act, which critics contend will cause millions to lose their healthcare and mainly amounts to a tax cut for the rich. Frelinghuysen is also seen by many as out of touch with his constituents, and has not been present at a town hall meeting since 2013.

In announcing his campaign, John Bartlett said that New Jersey’s 11th district deserves “someone who goes out of his way to connect with and listen to constituents in all parts of the district and then takes action and casts votes that are consistent with his constituents’ needs.” He is kicking off his campaign with the intent of demonstrating his qualification for such a role by holding the “30 Coffees in 30 Days” initiative, where he will travel throughout the district, personally introducing himself to the voters and discussing the issues with them over coffee.

Bartlett, a graduate of Harvard Law School, is an attorney for Murphy Orlando LLC and has served two terms as freeholder of Passaic County. Michael Murphy, who introduced Bartlett on Friday, laments what he sees as the Republican party’s move to the far right and harkens back to moderate Republicans of the previous century, such as Teddy Roosevelt and Christine Todd Whitman.

By Dov Greenwood

 Dov Greenwood is a recent Frisch graduate and a summer intern at The Jewish Link.

 

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