A powerful House Republican’s retirement is the clearest signal yet that a Democratic wave could be coming

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  • Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, announced his intent to retire in 2018.
  • Frelinghuysen becomes yet another high profile Republican to give up on a tough reelection bid.

WASHINGTON – Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey announced Monday he would not seek reelection in 2018, marking yet another high-profile retirement from a top Republican in the House.

“Today as I announce my retirement at the end of this session of Congress, I want to use the opportunity to strongly encourage the many young people I meet to consider public service,” Frelinghuysen said in a statement. “Public service is an incredible way to turn your convictions into something that serves the greater good and to do it alongside people from every walk of life and background.”

“I have worked in a bipartisan manner, not just in times of crisis but always, because I believe it best serves my constituents, my state and our country,” his statement added. “My father reminded me often that we are temporary stewards of the public trust. I have sincerely endeavored to earn that trust every day and I thank my constituents and my home state of New Jersey for the honor to serve and I will continue to do so to the best of my abilities through the end of my term.”

Frelinghuysen, who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, drew ire from his fellow Republicans at the end of last year when he voted against the Republican tax plan. Top Republicans expressed a desire for Frelinghuysen to be stripped of his chairmanship for not backing the bill.

Frelinghuysen is now the ninth chair of a House committee to not seek reelection in this Congress. Many of the planned retirees come from swing districts with tough political climates in President Donald Trump’s first election cycle. But National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers remained confident in a public statement following the announcement.

“We’ll sorely miss his leadership in Congress and I wish him well in the next chapter of his life,” Stivers said. “This district has been held by a Republican since the 1980’s, and we plan to keep it that way in November.”