Home>Campaigns>Friscia joins race for GOP nod to take on Sherrill

Larry Friscia. (Photo: Larry Friscia).

Friscia joins race for GOP nod to take on Sherrill

Moderate attorney: ‘I’m not Phil Murphy. The Bill of Rights is not above my pay grade’

By David Wildstein, January 04 2022 9:35 am

An attorney who sued big banks for their role in the foreclosure crisis has entered the race for the GOP nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district.

Larry Friscia has become the seventh Republican to enter the race against two-term Rep. Mikie Sherrill (R-Montclair), whose district became more Democratic under the new congressional redistricting plan approved last month.

“I am running to represent this community because I am from this community,” Friscia said. “I’m not Phil Murphy.  The Bill of Rights is not above my pay grade.”

Friscia runs a Newark law firm based in a storefront in the Ironbound section of Newark that specializes in helping individuals survive the economic crisis.  He won a $5.7 million settlement against Essex County, claiming his clients were subject to illegal strip searches at the county jail after being arrested for non-indictable offenses.

He said the coronavirus pandemic led to his decision to run for Congress.

“When Covid hit our shores, some people got woke,” Friscia said.  “Not me, I woke up!”

He’s in the process of assembling a campaign team and has hired Liz Curtis, a campaign compliance consultant, as his treasurer.

Friscia told the New Jersey Globe that he will run as a moderate Republican and will compete for organization lines at the Morris GOP convention and in screening committees in Essex and Passaic.  But he’ll stay in the race even if he doesn’t win party support.

“I am going to run regardless,” he said.

Republicans have not yet settled on an opponent for Sherrill, a two-term Democrat who flipped the 11th district seat in 2018 after 34 years of being held by a Republican.

Two candidates have already left the race: former Republican National Committee staffer Tom Toomey has decided to challenge House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) in a Middlesex/Monmouth district, and realtor Patrick Quinn has switched to the 9th district contest against Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson).

Another candidate, Rev. Phil Rizzo, is thinking about dropping his challenge to Sherrill and instead running in the more Republican 7th district.  POLITICO reported on Monday that a lawsuit filed by two former tenants alleged that Rizzo committed fraud when he sold his home to his church without paying off a lien they had against him.

Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen, Republican State Committeeman Larry Casha, former Assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot, former Ridgefield Councilman Robert Kovic and screenwriter Hillery Brotschol will compete with Friscia for the nomination.

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