A pro-Trump, hard-right conservative can’t win Rodney Frelinghuysen’s seat in Congress, says a potential Republican candidate for the 11th district House seat.
Former Harding Mayor Nicolas Platt says that he is interested in joining the race to replace Frelinghuysen. He says he’s convinced that if Republicans nominate a candidate who follows the Trump playbook, the seat will be a Democratic pickup.
“The conservative wing of the Republican party continues to ‘defend the indefensible’ and ‘excuse the inexcusable,’” said Platt. “They are willing to suspend their own moral codes to support a President who is a global embarrassment.”
Platt says the nomination of a Trump conservative is “a losing strategy” that is bad for the country.
Platt is a self-proclaimed moderate Republican, who says he is a fiscal conservative who is pro-choice and a supporter of gun control. He says is part of a long tradition of Republicans who have led in the protection of the environment.
“Most of what the conservative hard-right is saying is ideological nonsense and people know it. Voters in the 11th District know it, which is why Rodney Frelinghuysen is stepping down at the height of his career,” Platt said. “Rodney chose to vote along with the toxic Republican leadership in Washington and not his conscience or the wishes of his constituents. It is no wonder he lost support.”
Platt says he is looking at whether he could beat Democratic front-runner Mike Sherill in the fall.
“I’m less concerned about whether I could win in a contested primary against a conservative,” Platt said. “If the Republican strategy is to ride on Trump’s coattails, we will lose. Moderate Republican voters see the Emperor has no clothes. And, if you have no clothes, you have no coattails.”
Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), a former GOP state chairman and a longtime conservative leader, and moderate Martin Hewitt are the only announced candidates for the Republican nomination. Assemblyman Anthony Bucco (R-Boonton) and businessman Jerry Langer are among the other Republicans looking at the race.