Mikie Sherrill was “present.”
The now-second term congresswoman from New Jersey’s 11th District answered “present” Sunday when the roll was called to elect a speaker. So for the second time, Sherrill did not vote for Nancy Pelosi.
It didn’t make any difference as Pelosi was reelected House Speaker by a vote of 216 to 209 over Republican Kevin McCarthy.
Sherrill was one of five Democrats not to vote for Pelosi. Two others voted for other candidates and two followed Sherrill in voting “present.”
Things were a bit more intriguing this time around, because the Democrats’ majority in the House shrunk in the 2020 election.
But in the end, Pelosi narrowly secured a majority of the votes cast – 216 out of 430 – to retain the gavel.
Sherrill had pledged in her first election bid in 2018 not to support Pelosi for speaker. Instead, she voted for Cheri Bustos of Illinois.
After today’s vote, the congresswoman issued the following statement:
“It’s an incredible honor to once again be sworn in and to continue my service to the 11th District. I have high hopes for 2021 as we see the light at the end of the tunnel for COVID and we work to ensure that people have a secure future in the aftermath of this horrible pandemic. I committed to the people of the 11th District that I would fight for new leadership and my vote today reflects that. I look forward to continuing to grow strong leadership in the Democratic Party.”
Sherrill’s vote against Pelosi two years ago did nothing to stop Republican Rosemary Becchi from tying the congresswoman to the speaker in last fall’s campaign. Sherrill wound up winning by almost 30,000 votes in a district that covers parts of Morris, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties.
None of the other 11 House members from New Jersey broke party ranks when voting for speaker.