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Democratic congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill with, left to right, Rockaway Councilmen Mike Puzio, Manny Friedlander and Jonathan Sackett (SHERRILL CAMPAIGN PHOTO)

Republican councilman backs Sherrill

Rockaway official praises Sherrill’s willingness to work with both parties

By David Wildstein, August 08 2018 9:33 am

Democratic congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill has won the endorsement of Republican Councilman Mike Puzio of Rockaway Township, her first public endorsement by a GOP elected official in her bid to flip New Jersey’s 11th district from red to blue.

“Our community needs a leader with a proven record of working with people from both parties,” Puzio said.  “The partisanship that plagues Congress hurts Rockaway, and prevents New Jersey from moving forward. I’m endorsing Mikie Sherrill because I know the letter that comes after my name is less important to Mikie than the fact that I am a resident of this community.”

Puzio was joined in his endorsement by Rockaway’s two Democratic councilmen, Jonathan Sackett and Manny Friedlander.  Sackett and Rockaway Township Democratic Municipal Chairman Douglas Romaine were at a breakfast at a diner last month when Puzio met with Sherrill for the first time.

“This campaign is all about bringing our community together,” said Sherrill. “In the U.S. Navy, I worked with people from all different parts of the country and different backgrounds, and I can tell you it never prevented me from getting our mission done. That’s why I’m proud to have Mike, Jonathan, and Manny’s endorsement. In Congress I will stand up for our district, including Picatinny Arsenal and the residents of the 11th who work there.”

Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor, faces five-term Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) in the race for Rodney Frelinghuysen’s open seat.  Republicans have held the 11th district since 1984.

Puzio is part of a faction of Rockaway Township Republicans who had supported Ron DeFilippis for Morris County GOP Chairman in June.  DeFilippis did not immediately respond to a 9:20 AM phone call seeking comment.

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2 thoughts on “Republican councilman backs Sherrill

  1. This is an incredibly stupid move on the part of Puzio. Prior to this announcement, it looked like Jeremy Jedynak could be in trouble for next year’s election for causing so much tension on council with his fights with Mayor Dachisen, who is aligned with Puzio. Now, Jedynak could make a credibile claim that his side are the only true Republicans running in Rockaway. A lot is unclear right now. Will Puzio switch parties? Will he run for reelection next year? Will Dachisen run with him in the primary despite him turning on the GOP in CD11? None of these questions would be asked right now if Puzio hadn’t done this. One has to wonder what he gets from this because it hardly makes sense.

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