Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1994, 10th term.

Born: April 29, 1946, New York City

Home: Harding

Education: Hobart Col., B.A. 1969

Professional Career: Aide, Morris Cnty. Bd. of Freeholders, 1972–74.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Episcopalian

Family: married (Virginia) , 2 children

Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, first elected in 1994, has a record as a foreign policy conservative and a fiscal and social moderate. As the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, he is a critical gatekeeper in President Barack Obama’s plans to significantly boost clean energy research in his second term.

Frelinghuysen (FREE-ling-high-zen) is the scion of one of New Jersey’s most durable political families. The Frelinghuysens emigrated from Germany near the Dutch border in 1720 and settled in what is now the 11th District. Four Frelinghuysens served as senators from New Jersey, starting in 1793 and as recently as 1923. Theodore Frelinghuysen was the candidate for vice president in 1844 (spawning the memorable chant, ‘‘Hurrah! Hurrah! The country’s risin,’ for Henry Clay and Frelinghuysen’’). Frederick Frelinghuysen was President Chester Arthur’s secretary of state. Peter Frelinghuysen, Rodney’s father, was elected to the House in 1952 and served until his retirement in 1974. “He was always my role model,” the congressman told The Star-Ledger of Newark after his father’s death in May 2011.

History tends to repeat itself, and Frelinghuysens have been involved in every presidential impeachment. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s great-great-grandfather Frederick voted to convict Andrew Johnson in 1868, and his father, Peter, after the revelations of July 1974, would have voted to impeach Richard Nixon if the president had not resigned. The current-generation Frelinghuysen voted to impeach Bill Clinton in December 1998.

As a child, Rodney Frelinghuysen lived in the large brick house on Georgetown’s N Street that was later owned by former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and his wife, Sally Quinn. He attended St. Albans preparatory school with the future Democratic vice president, Al Gore. After college, he served in the Army in Vietnam, where he built roads in the Mekong Delta. In 1972, he was an aide to Morris County Freeholder Dean Gallo, who was later elected to Congress from the 11th District. Frelinghuysen was a freeholder himself from 1974 to 1983, and was elected to the state Assembly in 1983. He ran for Congress in 1990 in what is now the 12th District but lost the primary to Dick Zimmer. In August 1994, Gallo retired from Congress because of illness, and Frelinghuysen was chosen to be the Republican nominee at a September party convention. He was elected with 71% of the vote.

Frelinghuysen has taken moderate and even liberal stands on some issues, but aligns with his party on defense and foreign policy. After the September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, he said in his weekly newsletter to constituents: “The back-and-forth explanations of administration officials seem to point to domestic political considerations overriding the truth.”

He refused to join fellow New Jersey Republican moderates Frank LoBiondo, Chris Smith, and Leonard Lance in supporting the cap-and-trade bill aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, calling it a “job-killer.” He also cited numerous objections to the health care overhaul, and supported its repeal along with many of the GOP’s biggest priorities in the 112th Congress (2011-12). But he was one of seven House Republicans in March 2011 who voted to protect federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which led to anti-abortion protests outside his New Jersey office. And in 2012, he joined Democrats in opposing GOP measures to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, to eliminate the Economic Development Administration and Legal Services Corp., and to double the number of oil and gas drilling leases on federal land.

While still a freshman, he secured a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee. Because New Jersey had no senator on the Senate Appropriations Committee between 2000 and 2006, Frelinghuysen became the go-to guy for the entire delegation on projects benefiting New Jersey. He concentrated on big projects: construction of the Hudson-Bergen light rail, dredging of channels in the Port of New York and New Jersey, and slowing erosion on the Jersey Shore. With the departure of Democrat Steven Rothman in 2012, he was New Jersey’s lone representative on the House spending panel.

As Frelinghuysen has gained seniority, he was able in 2011 to claim the gavel of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee. He sounded an ominous note for Obama’s clean energy research plans in February 2011, when he said that in theory, he supported the arm of the Energy Department that conducts such research, but that, “I’m not sure in these times I’d find that many members who would agree.” The energy and water bill he got through the House in 2012 reduced energy efficiency and renewable energy programs by $886 million. Obama’s Office of Management and Budget objected, saying that amount represented the largest cut in those areas since 2006 and would “leave U.S. competitiveness at risk in new markets and clean energy industries.” However, the bill was eventually rolled into a continuing resolution that maintained funding at current levels.

Frelinghuysen is best known nationally as the sponsor of the “Know Your Caller” law, which bars telemarketers from interfering with Caller ID systems of customers seeking to avoid such solicitations. Another of his pet projects is environmental cleanup in his district, which has a large number of Superfund sites. He tours the sites annually with environmental and local officials to get updates on cleanup progress.

Frelinghuysen has not been seriously challenged for reelection, although in 2012, Democrat John Arvanites held him to 59%, the lowest winning percentage of his career.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5034

(202) 225-3186

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2306
Washington, DC 20515-3011

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-5034

(202) 225-3186

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2306
Washington, DC 20515-3011

DISTRICT OFFICE

(973) 984-0711

(973) 292-1569

30 Schulyer Place Second Floor
Morristown, NJ 07960-5128

DISTRICT OFFICE

(973) 984-0711

(973) 292-1569

30 Schulyer Place Second Floor
Morristown, NJ 07960-5128

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(973) 292-3656

19 Cattano Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

19 Cattano Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Acquisitions

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Aerospace

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Agriculture

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Animal Rights

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Jane Johnston
Staff Assistant

Appropriations

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Budget

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Austin Bone
Senior Legislative Aide

Campaign

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Commerce

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Communication

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Energy

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Environment

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Family

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Foreign

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Govt Ops

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Gun Issues

Austin Bone
Senior Legislative Aide

Housing

Thomas Doelp
Legislative Aide

Immigration

Austin Bone
Senior Legislative Aide

Intelligence

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Internet

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Judiciary

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Military

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Minorities

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Recreation

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Science

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Tax

Austin Bone
Senior Legislative Aide

Technology

Nancy Fox
Chief of Staff

nancy.fox@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-5034

Austin Bone
Senior Legislative Aide

Telecommunications

Thomas Doelp
Legislative Aide

Trade

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Transportation

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Thomas Doelp
Legislative Aide

Veterans

Steve Wilson
Press Secretary; Senior Policy Advisor

Women

Kathleen Hazlett
Deputy Chief of Staff; Legislative Director

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Votes: 182,237
Percent: 58.81%
John Arvanites
Votes: 123,897
Percent: 39.98%
2012 PRIMARY
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Votes: 122,149
Percent: 67.19%
Douglas Herbert
Votes: 55,472
Percent: 30.51%
2010 PRIMARY
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Votes: 32,631
Percent: 76.44%
Richard Luzzi
Votes: 10,060
Percent: 23.56%
2008 GENERAL
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Votes: 189,696
Percent: 61.84%
Tom Wyka
Votes: 113,510
Percent: 37.01%
2008 PRIMARY
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Votes: 24,304
Percent: 86.69%
Kate Erber
Votes: 3,731
Percent: 13.31%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (67%), 2008 (62%), 2006 (62%), 2004 (68%), 2002 (72%), 2000 (68%), 1998 (68%), 1996 (66%), 1994 (71%)

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