Former New York Jets player Nick Mangold is “intrigued” by the idea of running in the GOP primary to replace retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., according to a Republican county chairman in the 11th district of New Jersey.
Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas told Politico he is recruiting the 34-year-old former football player to shake things up in a district that’s had the same representative since 1995.
Even though Assemblyman Jay Webber is the only major Republican to declare candidacy, Barlas expects it to be a crowded Republican primary.
“I had a conversation with him. He’s intrigued by the idea. He has to think it over and talk with his wife,” Barlas said. “After an 11-year playing career and a college career, he’s enjoying being at home with his wife and kids.”
Mangold is a registered Republican and has voted in three of the last five primaries and six of the last seven general elections.
“He’s a different candidate,” Barlas said. “He gives a different name ID.”
Frelinghuysen announced in late January that he would not be seeking re-election come November. The news from the House Appropriations Committee Chairman marked the eighth House committee chairman to step down ahead of the 2018 elections.
If Mangold were to run and win, he would not be the first professional football player to earn a House seat for New Jersey. Former Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan ran for Congress in 2010 and served two terms in the New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District before retiring.