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Albert R. Hunt

This New Jersey House Race Is Scary for the GOP

A rookie Democrat is challenging a prominent incumbent. If she can win, the congressional majority is up for grabs.
Rodney Frelinghuysen has a Trump problem.

Rodney Frelinghuysen has a Trump problem.

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

The intense battle for control of the House of Representatives is a national fight, with fierce contests from California to Maine. No single district can tell the whole story of Midterms 2018. But a good fault line is upscale Morris County, New Jersey, where there’s a House race both sides think they need to win to get a majority.

The Republican incumbent is Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, a 12-term member whose family came to New Jersey 300 years ago. His ancestors have been U.S. senators and his father also represented north-central New Jersey in the House. Politically, the area has been reliably Republican for decades and Frelinghuysen wins there by wide margins.