Crook hopes to replace retiring New Jersey congressman

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Longtime New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen will be retiring at the end of the year, and several candidates are vying for his seat in the state’s 11th District.

News 12 New Jersey has previously reported on the 11th District campaign and front-runner candidates: Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber and former federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat.

But there are two other candidates also running in this election. 

There’s libertarian candidate Ryan Martinez.

And there is also a less well-known candidate with an unfortunate last name when it comes to New Jersey politics – Essex Fells CPA Robert Crook.

“I mean, it’s an oxymoron,” says Crook. “I am all about fighting fraud and corruption.”

Running as an independent, Crook says that he is probably a longshot in a district where the two major parties are spending a lot of campaign money. But he says that he would be a great alternative.

“Both parties are slinging mud at one another about social issues that are really not issues that face New Jersey,” Cross says.

He says that his last name may also work as an asset for him.

“I have fought crime and corruption my entire life. My first job at Macy's I opened up my desk drawer as an administrator of 600 people and found a contract with the mafia. I have been fired from jobs as a CFO of an apparel company because I refused to deliver a suitcase full of cash to the unions,” he says.

Crook says his last name is Scottish in origin and refers to a bent stick a shepherd might carry in the field.

Crook says his top priority if elected would be to increase the return New Jerseyans get on their federal tax dollars. He says he would do that by securing more federal research dollars for the state's science and technology sectors.

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