U.S. Rep. Steven Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) says he will run for re-election to an eighth term in 2010, "and for many years more."
Rothman made his announcement hours after PolitickerNJ.com's The Inside Edge speculated that weak third quarter fundraising numbers could be a sign that the congressman was ready to retire. Rothman made it clear he's not going anywhere.
"I wonder who gave out the creative writing assignment to suggest that I was retiring from Congress." Rothman wrote PolitickerNJ.com. After all, I love helping my constituents, bringing an unprecedented amount of federal dollars back to many regions in New Jersey (as our only Democratic Appropriations Committee member); and working with my House colleagues and the Obama White House in matters of our national security and foreign affairs."
"My health and that of my family is good, knock wood, and I'm still able to make my mortgage payments. And even after the ten Town Hall Meetings on Health Care I did in New Jersey in August–the most, by far of any of my Congressional colleagues–my approval rating in my district hovers between 68-70%," Rothman said. "But above all else, I am having some of the most satisfying time as a public official ever."
Rothman says he does not obsess about running for the United States Senate.
"While I did turn 57-years-old this week, let's remember that our longest-serving lion in the Senate, Frank Lautenberg — who we wish to serve till he's at least 120 — didn't get to the Senate till he was 58 years old," Rothman said. "As for dreams of Senate sugarplums dancing in my head, well, I remain committed to the notion that ‘what is meant to be will be'."
And Rothman has a message for his would be successors and competitors.
"To those who would seek my seat, I tell them to wait a bunch of more terms–if the people will continue to have me as their Congressman. To those who wish to gain some advantage in a future Senate race, I hope your actions are ones you're proud of."
Rothman told PolitickerNJ.com that contributions he received from Dennis Oury, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges last month, will be donated to charity.