Frelinghuysen Victorious: Sails Into Ninth Term
Incumbent nets about 70 percent of vote.
Incumbent Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen easily won re-election Tuesday night and will return to his 11th District Congressional Seat.
His Democratic challenger, Douglas Herbert, acknowledged defeat watching televised returns at the Morris County Democratic Committee's headquarters in Morristown Tuesday night.
"It looks like 30 [percent of the vote] is the number we're going to go with," Herbert said.
Also in the race was Libertarian Jim Gawron, who earned a very small percentage of the vote.
"I'm happy to be re-elected to the Republican party, humbled by re-election," Frelinghuysen said at the GOP gathering at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany.
The Caldwells are part of Frelinghuysen's district, which stretches from Morris into Essex counties.
Frelinghuysen, who was elected for a ninth term, acknowledged the economy's impact on area residents.
"We know from our family, friends and neighbors a lot about the atmosphere out there," he said. "I think they didn't like the change their president represented. I don't think they like the policies in the health care reform and everything else. We have a governor who is making very tough decisions. ... Too many New Jersey residents are moving to the south to escape the burdensome property taxes."
The 11th Congressional District includes all of Morris County, the Caldwells, Essex Fells, Fairfield, part of Livingston, part of Millburn, Roseland, part of Bloomingdale, Bernards Township, part of Bridgewater, Raritan, Somerville, Byram, Hopatcong, part of Sparta and Stanhope.
"There's no question [the election] going to go straight Republican. It's no contest," said Linda Giresi, a Union County resident who is a registered voter in Florida (voted via absentee ballot there). She is also the among founding members of the Morristown Tea Party Movement.
"I think we are in step with most of the country," she added. "I think we have a very strong Tea Party movement here. You hear people from all walks of life [in the Tea Party movement]. People are sick and tired of business as usual and they want to get back to Constitutional value. We've got to get back to basics."
William Baer, a resident of Harding Township, which Frelinghuysen also calls home, wasn't quite sure how the election would turn out.
"I'm not sure," he said. "All the polls are indicating that it should be a good night for the Republican Party. Not much has come in from NJ. ... Many of these people are grassroots people. They are interested in the state of the country, not just New Jersey. A lot of it, many of the people are Republicans.
"The changes we are anticipating go beyond the political party. It's fundamentals of the Constitution. I know that the federal government is not abiding by the constitution. The constitution grants limited powers and they have exceeded its powers. They are infringing on the rights of the state and the rights of the people."
Daniel Haggerty, a Morristown resident, called the election a "wakeup call" for the Republican party.
"This is a wakeup call, but if Republicans take this for granted, they are making a big mistake," he said.
"Republicans need to listen to what the Tea Party wants or they will be abandoned. ... One of my big issues is school choice. I don't think government schools should have a monopoly on education. There's no reason you should be forced to send your child to a government school. You should be able to take that portion of your tax money and spend it where you want."
At the Morris County Democratic Committee's Headquarters in Morristown, underdog Herbert called the race "bittersweet."
"I've worked with these people for six months and I'm sad to see it end. I just hope the work we've put into this bears out," Herbert said.
Democrats gathered with Herbert cheered at televised reports that Christine O'Donnell will lose to Democrat Chris Coons in the Delaware Senate race.
Chip Robinson, chair of the Morris County Democratic Committee, said it's always an uphill battle for Democrats running in heavily Republican Morris County.
"But it's worth it because it's a good fight. ... We are making gains. It's not as fast as we want it to be, but we are getting there," he said.
Results are posted below.
House of Representatives, 11th Congressional District (545 of 546 precincts reporting):
|Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (R)*||122,036
|Douglas Herbert (D)||55,421
|Jim Gawron (Libertarian)||4,163