Spring Lake resident Brian Froelich is making his first foray into politics as he runs to represent the 4th District in Congress.
Having been interested in politics for as long as he can remember, Froelich said that interest has grown in recent years. "Now I'm interested, angry and involved," he said. After years of complaining to his friends about the political climate he said they were finally able to persuade him to run against Rep. Chris Smith in the November election.
Froelich said his desire to run was spurred by what he sees happening in Congress, specifically "all the name calling and not getting anything done."
With no political record of his own, Froelich said in many ways he is running on Smith's record, which he called "a series of myths." With a platform of fiscal responsibility, he said the increases in spending and deficits have gone against Smith's claims of being "fiscally responsible. "
"What he'll say and what the knee-jerk reaction is, is that it's not his fault," Froelich said. He added that during Smith's tenure he has had a Republican president for 20 years, a Republican Senate for 16 years and a Republican House for 14 out of the last 18 years. "The team that has been on the field lost the game and now they want back in," he said.
As part of his efforts to take the seat from the incumbent Froelich announced he is opening his campaign headquarters in Howell leading up to Election Day. "If you look at Howell on a map it's dead center smack in the middle of the district," he said. "When you look at Route 9 and Interstate 195 they criss-cross the district perfect so from a physical geographical point of view, it's a perfect location."
Tomorrow night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Froelich invites members of the public to his new office to meet him and learn about where he stands on issues that matter to him. The office is in the Ideal Plaza at 2202 Route 9 South right next to .
Coming from the business world Froelich said running for office has been a new experience and he believes the campaign office will help in that effort. "It gives me a physical place to conduct activities and for people to come to and coordinate their efforts," he said.
The office will give people a place to go to meet Froelich but since he got the nomination and in the time until the election he said he expects to spend as much time around the district as possible. "I'm trying to get to as many events as I can," he said. Froelich said his travels give new meaning to the term "running" for office.
Looking at the district Froelich said changes in the borders make it a much different terrain than what Rep. Smith was first elected to represent. "Everyone got pushed north," he said of the recent redistricting. Because of the shift, Froelich said he has about as much name recognition as the congressman.
He said he hopes that will give him the edge in the upcoing elections. "I've been running around trying to meet as many people as I can," he said. "The objective is to meet 700 thousand people before the beginning of November. What I tell people is I'll go anywhere anytime to meet anybody."
Election Day is still three months away but Froelich said he is looking forward to meeting more people and getting his message out before they head to the polls.