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House candidate Rosemary Becchi.

Becchi announces bid to challenge Sherrill

Republican switches from 7th to 11th after GOP clears the field

By David Wildstein, January 21 2020 12:30 pm

Former U.S. Senate staffer Rosemary Becchi has formally announced that she will challenge freshman Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) for New Jersey’s 11th district congressional seat.

Becchi’s announcement comes two days after she told party leaders that she was prepared to end her campaign against Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in the 7th district if party support was there for her to run against Sherrill.

Republicans appear to have cleared the field for Becchi to become the GOP candidate.  Former Kinnelon councilman Larry Casha agreed to drop out of the race this morning.

“Mikie Sherrill has failed our families by standing with Nancy Pelosi’s partisan impeachment effort instead of fixing the problems that have made New Jersey simply unaffordable for average families, seniors and our young people — the future of our economy,” Becchi said.

Becchi accused Sherill of breaking “her promise to the people of New Jersey to be a moderate voice for them, and instead has voted with Nancy Pelosi 98% of the time, including votes to weaken our immigration laws and against our military and veterans.”

Becchi’s hometown, Millburn, is in the 7th, but she lives just two miles outside the 11th district.

Carpetbagging won’t be an issue for Becchi, since Sherrill lives outside her own district in the part of Montclair represented by Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark).

Becchi entered the race against Malinowski last July.  Kean, the son of former Gov. Tom Kean and a legislator since 2001, entered the race in April and had raised about $1 million as of his last report.

Before going to work for the U.S. Senate, the 53-year-old Becchi was a staff attorney in the office of the chief counsel of the Internal Revenue Service.  She later worked for a top accounting firm, for Citigroup and Fidelity Investments, and has been a partner at two major law firms.  She now works for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a Washington, D.C law and lobbying firm.

Becchi is the founder of Jersey First, a grassroots economic advocacy group.

Sherrill raised almost $8.5 million in her bid to flip New Jersey’s 11th district in 2018 and outspent her Republican opponent by an almost 5-1 margin for a seat that Republicans had held since 1984.

It was Sherrill’s early fundraising prowess – she had raised more than $1.2 million by the end of 2017 – that helped frighten twelve-term incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen out of the race.  With a warchest of under $1.2 million, Frelinghuysen announced his retirement weeks after Sherrill announced her own fundraising numbers.

She won her House race by 46,262 votes, 57%-42%, against Republican assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) in 2018.


The 11th district has 1,500 more Republicans than Democrats and Donald Trump won it by 1% in 2016 — down from 24,176 when the district was drawn after the 2010 census.

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3 thoughts on “Becchi announces bid to challenge Sherrill

  1. This race in the 11th already is over, despite the puffery and rhetoric of today. Republicans should not waste any limited and finite resources on Becchi. Giving anything to Becchi just takes away from Tom Kean’s campaign, which is a very winnable race for Republicans.

    1. Wow so she runs a race in the 7th and realizes she stands no chance. So now she’s running in the 11th. Talk about an opportunist at its finest. Makes Sherrill look like a public servant.

  2. “Carpetbagging won’t be an issue for Becchi, since Sherrill lives outside her own district”
    True, but only in a limited way. Yes, carpetbagging won’t be an issue for Becchi in terms of Sherrill attacking Becchi for it.
    But carpetbagging WILL bring problems for Becchi in that she is a total stranger to the 11th — the residents don’t know her, don’t care about her, and have no residual loyalty to her whatsoever. Becchi has no reservoir of anything to draw on in the 11th. Money can’t and won’t make up for that, even if money will mitigate other problems. And Becchi showed in the 7th in 2019 that she inspires no following whatsoever, so we know she’s a lackluster candidate who is no magnet attracting people to her or her campaign. There is and will be a large enthusiasm and mobilization gap, as Republicans say, “I’m supposed to get excited about an entrenched Washington lobbyist who moonlights in Short Hills?”
    The only answer Becchi can produce is: “But I”m not Mikie Sherrill!!” — and that won’t be nearly enough.

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