One day after former Gov. Chris Christie said that he was trying to recruit his wife to challenge freshman Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), Democrats say that Mary Pat Christie would be held accountable for her husband’s eight years as governor.
“Mary Pat Christie is welcome to run for office, and if she truly wants to remind voters about her husband’s disgraceful record as Governor I’m sure Congresswoman Sherill will be happy to have that conversation,” said Elizabeth Gilbert, the executive director off the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.
Christie launched his trial balloon on Tuesday evening at a book-signing event at Rutgers University.
“Chris Christie is on a book tour and will say whatever he thinks can grab headlines as he grasps for political relevancy after failing as Governor and being unceremoniously ousted from the President’s inner circle,” said Mike Gwin, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
But the idea of the former First Lady of New Jersey as a candidate for Congress has some Republicans intrigued.
“I think Mary Pat would be a great candidate,” said John Sette, a longtime Christie friend who served seventeen years as the Morris County Republican Chairman. “If I were to look around at all the candidates in Morris County to run against Mikie Sherrill, she would be the best.”
Sette said Mrs. Christie’s record on Wall Street and her knowledge of the inner workings of government would make her a “very viable candidate.”
“She did a great job restoring the Jersey shore. She has the ability to raise a lot of money. She would be a quick study on the issues,” Sette said.
Some Republicans think that Sherrill, who flipped New Jersey’s 11th district last year with 57% of the vote, could be vulnerable in 2020 in a district that has 5,825 more Republicans than Democrats.
“Mikie Sherrill is going to have to own every radical decision Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic Party makes,” said Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. “We expect numerous top-rate candidates will be lining up to take her on and highlight the liberal record she will have to run on in 2020.”
McAdams’ Democratic counterpart disagrees.
“Mikie Sherrill, a Navy veteran and a former federal prosecutor, has spent her life in service to our country, and she’s taken those values to Washington where she’s working to lower healthcare costs and taxes for middle-class New Jersey families,” Gwin said.