CD-11 Flashpoint: Sherrill Gets out the Vote at Jam-Packed Jockey Hollow Event

MORRISTOWN – When Mikie Sherrill was introduced Friday morning at a get-out-the-vote rally aimed primarily at women, the jam-packed crowd in the spiffy Jockey Hollow restaurant cheered wildly and a dog barked excitedly.

If only the dog, a mixed-breed named Echo, could vote.

The morning’s mission, you see, was not to persuade the undecided, but to encourage Sherrill supporters to spend the next 11 days going door-to-door, making phone calls and just talking to their friends, neighbors and relatives about the Nov. 6 midterm election in the 11th congressional district.

Interest in politics can be a frustrating proposition. Prevailing wisdom suggests a better than average turnout this time around, but one never really knows.

In candid moments, most campaign workers admit running into people who seem absolutely clueless  – despite the plethora of campaign signs, commercials and news reports about the election.

Guest speaker at the event was Emily Cain, the executive director of Emily’s List, which supports pro-choice Democratic women candidates throughout the nation.

Cain, as many are wont to do this time around, described the coming vote as a “fight for our lives.” She urged campaign supporters to do something many probably do not like to do – talk to strangers – in hopes of getting votes for Sherrill.

Sherrill has an enormous fundraising advantage over Republican Jay Webber, but polls have the race close. All of them, however, have the Democrat in the lead.

Sherrill said she wasn’t surprised how tight the race is.

“We are asking people to change voting patterns and habits they have had all their lives,” she said in a conversation after the rally. Echoing Cain’s comments, Sherrill also stressed the importance of the campaign getting to people who do not normally vote in the midterm election.

The district long has been Republican, although Democrats are quickly closing the gap.

In 2014, Republicans outnumbered Democrats in the district by 24,000; this year that margin has been cut to 7,000.

Sherrill, paying attention to geography, reminded the 150 or so people in the crowd that Morristown was in many ways the birthplace of the American Revolution. And she said it’s also “ground zero” for Democratic efforts to take control of the House.

Her remarks didn’t mention Webber, who was in Washington on Thursday for a fundraiser hosted by President Trump.  Webber also raised a few eyebrows in political circles by using a threatening letter he received earlier this week as a vehicle to raise campaign cash.

Sherrill refrained from commenting on Webber’s fundraising method, but she has condemned the letter that threatened Webber and his family.

That threat to Webber came as apparent pipe bombs were sent this week to prominent Democrats and their supporters across the nation. Sherrill’s event took place prior to news of an arrest in the case.

The event in Morristown was primarily aimed at women. As they spoke, Cain and Sherrill were surrounded by Democratic women throughout the district running for office.

But there were a few men in the room.

One of them was Stuart Lasser, a Morristown businessman and a friend of outgoing congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Lasser is all on board with Sherrill, describing her as a “breath of fresh air in a room that’s pretty smoky.”

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