It’s been said before that the state’s women will decide who wins many of New Jersey’s congressional elections this year, and as the election enters its closing days, Democratic candidates are increasingly making appeals to those voters.
Mikie Sherrill, the only woman in the state running for a Republican-held House seat, made one such appeal early Friday morning at a get out the vote rally attended by roughly 150 people, most of whom were women, and one excitable dog.
“I am standing on the shoulders of these women right now, and I made my race and I made my run for congress, and I am hoping that I can do everything I can to bring out people so that they’re successful as well, because this is the power that we have right now,” Sherill told the crowd during her rally speech. “This is the momentum, this is the movement.”
Sherrill was joined at the event by a number of the district’s other women candidates, among whom was Morris County Clerk candidate Shala Gagliardi, and Emily Cain, executive director of Emily’s List, a political action committee that aims to elect pro-choice Democratic women to political office.
The event was primarily focused on rallying Sherrill supporters and canvassers as the election enters its closing days.
With the district’s debates and forums all in the past, all that’s left for candidates to do is spread their message as much as they can in the little time they have left.
For Sherrill, who with $7.6 million raised is already the most well-funded Democratic House candidate in the state, that means door-to-door campaigning.
“This is a year where we’re seeing a groundswell, and what we’re seeing across the country is that women are looking up to say this really isn’t about party. This isn’t about whether you’re a Democrat or Republican,” Cain said. “This is about who’s best to lead the country, and those women voters are the ones who I think are super motivated right now.”
But, mobilizing the district’s women isn’t wasn’t the only goal of Friday’s event. Before the rally proper, Sherrill and a number of the other candidates were huddled together in a back room of the Jockey Hollow Bar and Kitchen raising funds for the election’s home stretch.
Her opponent, Jay Webber had a fundraiser of his own on Thursday that was headlined by President Donald Trump.
Sherrill said the Friday morning fundraiser had been “planned for a while now” but stopped short of denying it was a response to the Trump fundraiser.
Whatever the case may be, more cash in the bank almost never hurts a campaign.
“We want to finish really strong. As you know, broadcast here is the most expensive in the nation, so we just want to make sure that we’re doing every single thing we can,” Sherrill said. “We’ve developed such a great groundswell of support over the last year and a half, and we’ve built such an amazing campaign and such amazing grassroots support that I want to make sure that I’m doing every single thing I can in the next 11 days to really see good results on Nov. 6”