Democrats are expecting Mikie Sherrill to win big in her home of Montclair.
Sherrill will likely need a large margin in Democratic strongholds like the town of Montclair, which is split between the 10th and 11th congressional districts, with about 11,000 of the town’s almost 38,000 residents falling into the latter, where Sherrill is running.
Montclair notable Bob Russo, a former mayor and sitting councilman, is campaigning for Sherrill, hoping to get the candidate a 10:1 margin in the portions of the city that fall into the district.
Russo doesn’t quite expect to meet that goal, but he said a margin of 5:1 is all but guaranteed, though he expects a higher margin.
Sherrill also has Brendan Gill — the town’s powerful Democratic chairman, one that has close ties to Gov. Phil Murphy — in her corner, a fact that will likely see turnout and her margin bumped.
Sherrill’s opponent, Assemblyman Jay Webber also hasn’t done himself any favors when it comes to Montclair. Webber has run ads calling Sherrill “Montclair Mikie,” implying that the Democrat is too liberal for the historically Republican 11th congressional district.
“They were so upset with Montclair they tried to make Montclair a bad word. They went after Mikie Sherrill, calling her ‘Montclair Mikie.’” Gill said at a Montclair Democrats dinner on Thursday. “Anyone who knows a little bit about me, my history in this community and my family’s history, we’re looking around, like, ‘Montclair Mikie? Those are fighting words.’”
Phil Alagia, Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo’s get-out-the-vote guru, was less skeptical on the prospect of a 10:1 margin than Russo was. He expects Sherrill to stack up big numbers there, and even if she doesn’t get a 10:1 landslide, he expects she’ll still win by a margin of eight or nine to one, though not because of anything Russo, Gill or anyone else does there.
She’s just a good candidate, he said.
Sherrill herself is feeling optimistic about turnout there.
“Montclair’s been great,” she said. “They’ve been there from the beginning. I know yard signs don’t vote, but I think we’re winning the yard sign vote 10:1, so we’re hoping for big turnout there.”