Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Donor Balks at Frelinghuysen's Gun Vote

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Donor Balks at Frelinghuysen's Gun Vote

Article excerpt

Signaling possible challenges ahead for U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen's re-election, a deep-pocketed, longtime donor said Tuesday that he would rather support Mikie Sherrill, a Democratic candidate in the race for New Jersey's 11th Congressional District — and that he won't be the last donor to jump ship.

"It was a difficult decision," said Finn Wentworth, founder and partner of a major real estate and investment firm in Morristown, of forgoing his lifelong Republican allegiance and backing Sherrill, the progressive Democratic candidate.

"There were several votes along the way that I felt Rodney was alienating the community that I'm a member of," said Wentworth, a Morristown native, adding that he has known Frelinghuysen and his family for most of his life. "Between the health care vote and this most recent safety vote, it was totally not in our community's interest. Therefore, I can't support him in this cycle."

Wentworth, a campaign chairman for Morristown Medical Center, has been a reliable donor for the Republican congressman and supportive of him since his first run, in 1994.

He donated $5,400 earlier this year to Frelinghuysen for Congress, according to the Federal Election Commission. He has contributed $17,685 to Frelinghuysen's campaign since 2004, according to filings with the FEC.

Wentworth has contributed $218,450 to Republican candidates and super PACs across the state since 2002, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

He said Frelinghuysen's affirmative vote for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act last week and his vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in May were not in line with the "socially moderate and fiscally conservative" Republicans of his community.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act amends the federal criminal code to allow a licensed gun owner from one state to carry a concealed handgun into another state that allows concealed firearms. …

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