The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) tonight accused Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) of endorsing Michael Bloomberg for president as repayment for the support of his Independence USA PAC in her 2018 campaign.
“All it took for Mikie Sherrill to sell out her principles and presidential endorsement was $2.2 million in cold, hard cash,” said NRCC spokesman Michael McAdams.
Bloomberg’s support came in the form of an independent expenditure that could not be coordinated with her campaign.
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, the powerful House Appropriations Committee chairman, 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 freshman congresswoman has raised $2,612,434 for her re-election campaign in New Jersey’s 11th district, including $757,451 during the 4th quarter of 2019.
Sherrill has $2,211,668 cash-on-hand in a Republican-leaning district.
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.
Sherrill is expected to face Rosemary Becchi, a former tax counsel for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, in the general election.
Becchi switched to the 11th district last month after dropping her bid to challenge Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in the next-door 7th district.
Republicans cleared the field for Becchi, convincing Republican state committeeman Larry Casha to withdraw.
Becchi faces a primary challenge from Robert Crook, an accountant who won .7% as an independent in 2018.
Sherrill faces a primary challenge from Mark Washburne, a county college professor who received 3.4% in the Democratic primary two years ago.