WEST CALDWELL – Mikie Sherrill can draw a crowd.
The two-term congresswoman from CD-11 officially launched her re-election campaign Saturday with a rally at her Bloomfield Avenue campaign headquarters.
“To come here today and to see this amount of energy and enthusiasm is really exciting,” she said in a statement. “I see more and more people coming out and focusing on this election. People understand how important it is and what we need to do.”
Energy is always important when it comes to elections, but for Democrats this go-around, probably more so.
Phil Murphy won re-election last year by about three points, a surprisingly close victory in a largely, Democratic state.
Democrats as a group, clearly, were not enthused last year.
Sherrill and other party leaders have to hope that changes with control of Congress at stake.
Republicans, mindful of last year’s race and Joe Biden’s less than stellar poll numbers, are downright giddy about the GOP’s chances this fall.
In CD-11, however, Sherrill has a few things going for her.
Her kickoff attracted party leaders and supporters from throughout the district. Some in the party see her as a gubernatorial candidate in 2025. And don’t overlook the new map, which gives Democrats about a 60,000 voter advantage.
Sherrill made history of sorts when she won what had been a long-time Republican seat in 2018 after the retirement of Rodney Frelinghuysen.
“In 2017 when I started to run and in 2018 when we were all coalescing around what we needed to do to flip this seat, we brought the nation along with us,” she said.
“So when I hear people say, ‘I don’t know if we’re on the right track,’ or worry about how we’re going to keep the House, I know exactly where to point them,” Sherrill added. “The path to keeping the House, quite frankly, starts in the 11th District of New Jersey.”
And that – the significance of CD-11 – is something with which Republicans will agree.