Democrat Tamara Harris says that Mike Sherrill and other candidates should compete in an open primary for Congress New Jersey’s 11th district.
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen announced today that he would not seek re-election to a thirteenth term, creating an open seat race in a primary for the first time since 1962.
“This retirement is not surprising and is further validation that force-ripening the primary process in this race is not a sound strategy,” Harris said. “The Democratic primary is far from over, and in fact it is just beginning.”
Harris, who worked in finance and is now a family advocate, says that Democratic candidates “must earn the nomination the hard way.”
“Candidates need a level playing field and it is time to empower the voters of the district and trust that they are able to choose a candidate who will energize the base and create the momentum needed to win in the general election against the GOP’s candidate,” said Harris. “It’s time for an open primary where all the Democratic candidates will run on one ballot line. Let voters decide who is the best to fill the seat. Putting people first and putting people before politics, is truly the progressive way.”
Sherill, a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor, has won the endorsements of the four Democratic county chairmen in the district. Harris wants Sherill to eschew the endorsements and open the process.
“There is change afoot in this district, and we need to do everything we can to ensure that there is enough momentum coming out of the primary to win in the general election,” said Harris.
College professor Mark Washburne and attorney Mitchell Colbert are also seeking the Democratic nomination to replace Frelinghuysen.