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Platt declines run for Congress

Moderate Republican says 11th will be tough in fall

By David Wildstein, March 31 2018 10:23 am

Former Harding mayor Nicolas Platt has announced that he will not seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district.

The incumbent, Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, announced in late January that he would not seek re-election to a 13th term this year.  There was some thought that Platt, a self-described moderate and strong fundraiser, could find a path to victory in a field crowded with  field of Republicans campaigning as conservatives in the June primary.

“Since Rodney’s announcement, I have spent a lot of time analyzing how a Republican could hold onto this seat. Here was a well regarded Congressman, recently named Chairman of the Appropriations Committee who was required by a toxic White House to vote with the conservatives and was mauled by his traditional supporters for doing so,” Platt said.  “Although I am a true moderate and could engage the Democratic front runner on all the issues that, despite the wishful thinking of the conservatives, are most important to our voters like gun control, climate change and supporting Planned Parenthood, it would not be enough.”

Platt said that the “Republican candidate will face an expensive and bruising primary followed by a sprint to November against a well funded opponent. It will be extremely difficult win.”

With the filing deadlines on Monday at 4PM,the field now includes Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Harding); hedge fund manager Antony Ghee; former Kean administration official Patrick Allocco; and attorney Martin Hewitt. Another potential candidate is self-funding businessman Peter DeNeufville, who is expected to enter the race on Monday but has not yet announced a final decision

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