Sherrill Game Clocks Rock Star Role in Low Turnout Election Year

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11).

BOONTON – This is going to be a low turnout election. Everybody knows that. But to Mikie Sherrill, that’s a good thing.

“It’s great,” she told a group of Morris County Democrats at a brunch Sunday to support the party’s five candidates for county offices – three for freeholder and one each for sheriff and surrogate.

Why’s that?

“Every vote we get out counts,” the congresswoman said at a local restaurant.

Every vote, of course, always counts, but you know her point. If the mass of ordinary voters is apathetic, a group that gets its voters to the polls can do well.

Well enough in still GOP-leaning Morris County to score an upset?

Chip Robinson, the county’s Democratic chair, says he wants to get 45,000 votes countywide. He figures – or perhaps hopes – that will be enough to win some races.

Sherrill urged the party faithful to go door-to-door and to make sure Democratic-leaning folks vote. That’s what happened last year when Sherrill and fellow Dem Tom Malinowski grabbed congressional seats in Districts 11 and 7. But in all candor, Congress is one thing, the state Assembly, which tops this year’s ballot, is another.

For the record, the county candidates are Bill Schievella for sheriff, Michael Thompson for surrogate and Cara Parmigiani, Cary Amaro and David Timpanaro for three freeholder slots.

In praising them all, Sherrill singled out Schievella, saying that his reputation in law enforcement circles is “incredibly impressive.”

For his part, Schievella said the problem with county politics is that too many decisions are made by a “small group of people.”

Sherrill’s victory last year has transformed her into a local political star. Robinson boldly predicted that the congresswoman will win reelection next year in a “landslide.”

It is true that as of now, Republicans do not have an official challenger to Sherrill, although one man, Keith Dakin of Mendham, says he’s considering it.

And then there’s James Gannon, the county sheriff and Schievella’s opponent on Nov. 5. When his name surfaced as a possible congressional candidate months ago, he dismissed the speculation. Some sources think he may reconsider if he wins reelection.

But that’s down the road.

With this election now less than a month away, Sherrill sought to convey the need for political change throughout Morris. It wasn’t just needed in Congress, it’s needed “up and down” the ballot, she said.

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