Anderson Emphasizes His Veteran’s Credentials

BUTLER – Frank McCue looked up from his plate of eggs long enough to say of local Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, “You got to get her out of office.”

Tony Anderson certainly agreed.

But at the moment, he’s got more relative concerns, namely Tayfun Selen and Paul DeGroot.

Those three appear to be the leading candidates for the Republican nomination in CD-11.

Selen has been endorsed by GOP organizations in Morris and Essex counties; DeGroot has the Passaic endorsement.

That leaves Anderson with no party endorsement at all.

So, as he made the rounds this morning at a local diner, Anderson had some advice:

“Don’t vote the party line with all the names,” he said. Instead look for “Toby Anderson” on the ballot.

“I stand alone,” he said.

Anderson’s initial pitch as he sought to engage diners in conversation was straightforward.

“I’m the only Republican veteran running for Congress in District 11,” he said. And to make sure, you get the point, Anderson was wearing a baseball cap that said, “Veteran” on it.

He got mostly favorable responses. That wasn’t surprising, Butler is predominately Republican. Sherrill barely won the town  in 2018, but she lost it by a bit more than 400 votes in 2020.

Anderson talked about the need to restore parental rights and civil rights. He says parents should have more say over what’s taught in schools and that all deserve “medical freedom.” He opposes vaccine mandates and much of the state shutdown relative to the pandemic.

These are pretty standard GOP positions. Anderson is trying to separate himself from others in the race by stressing his military background as an Iraq War veteran.

Visiting a diner is an accepted rite for all candidates, but there are no guarantees.

Some patrons don’t vote; others don’t vote in primaries, and even in GOP Butler, some are Democrats.

All of those cohorts do Anderson no good.

One example was Art Allen, who engaged Anderson in a very agreeable chat.

Allen, a staunch conservative, wants Joe Biden impeached and said, “I support Trump’s policies.”

This sounded great for Anderson until Allen said he’s not registered to vote in the June 7 primary.

The aforementioned McCue, however, is eligible to vote.

Asked why he is not a fan of Sherrill, he said that the congresswoman is guilty of “block voting,” meaning that she too often backs the party line.

All well and good, but for Anderson and others in the primary race, that’s an issue for November.

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