Sherrill in NJ: ‘Now We’re Excited’

PARSIPPANY – Mikie Sherrill turned a routine opening of an office today into an early morning party.

The new congresswoman officially opened her 11th District office at 8 Wood Hollow Road in Parsippany with about 75 supporters and some dignitaries on hand, all of whom showed up to celebrate at 8:45 a.m on a Monday., a rather inopportune time for this sort of thing.

One man on hand was Bob Nulman, once the Democratic mayor of Clinton Township, and now a resident of Wayne. Nulman reflected on the frustration of building a Democratic party in Wayne. But thanks to Sherrill’s candidacy, and a wee bit of help from Donald Trump’s unpopularity in New Jersey, Nulman said many people “got so fired up” and the result was a win for Sherrill, not only in Wayne, but across the district.

“Now, we’re so excited,” Nulman said.

The office still needs some necessary ingredients – like phones and Internet service – but the congresswoman at least has some space. Sherrill spoke to the crowd and gave a brief rundown on the 10 days or so she’s spent in Washington.

She said her main priority is reopening the government and to that end, she supported a Democratic bill to do just that. The bill passed, but is not being considered by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Sherrill joked that she has been “relentlessly on message” when it comes to infrastructure and securing funds for the Gateway Tunnel. In fact, her first floor speech, which she mentioned, was on that topic.

She also told the crowd the first bill she co-sponsored would institute universal background checks for all gun purchasers. The crowd cheered at what has been a long-sought goal of gun control advocates.

This bill seems certain to pass the House, but what happens in the Senate is another story.

Talking to reporters afterwards, Sherrill said she also has been working with the state’s 11-member Democratic congressional delegation to find a way to eliminate the $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes. Doing away with the cap was a big campaign issue for Sherrill and other Democrats in New Jersey.

This is going to be interesting to watch. Democrats control the House, but the $10,000 cap is a big issue only in places such as the northeast and California where property values, income levels and local property taxes tend to be high.

Sherrill voted against Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which fulfilled a campaign promise, She told reporters that she explained to the Speaker that she had made a “commitment to the district,” and that Pelosi understood the politics of it all. Left unsaid was that Sherrill’s vow to oppose Pelosi helped buttress her independent credentials in a district that has more registered Republicans than Democrats.

Before and after she spoke, Sherrill moved around the room greeting friends and supporters. In attendance were Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano and former mayor Mimi Letts. both Democrats. Soriano said he was “elated” that Sherrill picked his town for her office, noting that the Democrat easily carried Parsippany last fall.

Former Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen had his district office in Morristown, a locale known to the many Democrats who routinely protested outside it every Friday for more than a year. Sherrill’s team said they picked Parsippany for their office because it is centrally located and offers parking

And as Sherrill noted herself, the Sheraton Hotel, which was the scene of her joyous election night party, is just across the road. Clearly, Team Mikie is counting on the good karma in the area continuing.

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