Four years ago, Democrat Mikie Sherrill rode the 2018 midterm election “blue wave” into office in District 11. The former Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor is running unopposed in Tuesday’s primary for what would be her third term in a district that had been controlled by Republicans for 33 years.
Having secured the top party ballot lines in Morris and Essex, Tayfun Selen appears to be a front-runner on the Republican side. The former mayor of Chatham Township is currently serving as director of the Morris County Commissioner Board. Four Republicans stand in his way to oppose Sherrill in November.
NJ 11th Congressional District Candidates
Mikie Sherrill is seen by some New Jersey party leaders as a strong candidate for higher office. A third term would cement her as a possible future candidate for governor or the Senate. A loss would be a crushing blow for her party.
Tayfun Selen’s rise from a Turkish immigrant pumping gas in Madison to a successful business career has been swift. He was elected to the Chatham Township Committee and served a one-year term as mayor before becoming a county commissioner. His momentum and name recognition in Morris County are in his favor.
Paul DeGroot is an attorney and former Passaic County prosecutor who claimed the Passaic County line in the primary. He’s now living in Montville. His campaign website says he “comes from a blue-collar family with respect for conservative values such as hard work, discipline and helping others.”
Toby Anderson is an Iraq war veteran and small business owner from Morristown who says he is running “to restore parental rights, control inflation and to put an end to the leftist policies and cancel culture supported by the Biden-Pelosi-Sherrill agenda.”
Ruth McAndrew is a hospice triage RN from Randolph who says she is running for Congress “because we need diverse representation in government.” She favors Medicare at home for seniors, PTSD support for healthcare workers and essential workers; parental rights in education, healthcare and religious freedom.
Alexander Halter is a first-time candidate for office. A resident of Denville who works as a regional television producer, Halter describes himself as an “America-first Trump Republican.”
The district is dominated by Morris County (28 of 46 towns) with extensions into suburban Essex County and Passaic County. Redistricting removed Republican strongholds in Sussex County while adding Democrat-dominated Dover to District 11. Those changes appear to have added to Sherrill’s advantage.
Infrastructure; affordable housing and redevelopment; property taxes and restoring the State and Local Tax deduction, commonly referred to as SALT; inflation; flooding; environmental concerns including lake algae.
Sherrill’s priority list is topped by lowering taxes and reducing the costs of healthcare and childcare. Other priorities include infrastructure, clean energy, water quality, stopping gun violence, protecting national security and protecting Picatinny Arsenal, Morris County’s largest civilian employer.
Selen touts his record as a fiscal conservative in Chatham Township and as a Morris County Commissioner. His priorities as commissioner also included public safety, infrastructure, education and the environment.
DeGroot lists his priorities as parental rights in education; American liberty and freedom, the U.S. Constitution, energy independence and the economy; border security; seniors and veterans.
Anderson discusses his objection to mandatory masking for children in schools during an 11-minute campaign video in which he claims the masks delayed the progress and development of his own children. He also wants to protect religious freedom.
McAndrew said her top priorities are children’s safety in schools. “We must all work together to create a safe, secure and nurturing learning environment,” he said. “Get Congress to focus on America and do their job — restore and protect our economy, our energy, our borders, our environment and most importantly the rights and freedom of the people.”
Halter said his priority is “to put a stop to the destruction and pain that the Biden regime is causing the people of this country. That starts by taking back the House/Senate in 2023 and re-electing President Trump in 202424.”
Mikie Sherrill’s campaign raised $4,120,732.53, with $5,647,495.26 cash on hand, as of the pre-primary Federal Election Commission filing in May.
Selen had $255,790. DeGroot had $243,948. Anderson had $85,525.
McAndrew had not filed with the FEC as of June 2, but said she recently reached $5,000 in contributions and would file soon. Halter had not filed as of June 2.
In their words
Sherrill: “Serving in the Navy taught me the importance of working together to accomplish a mission — of teamwork, cooperation, and putting my country’s needs ahead of my own. That’s what guides my work in Congress. I’m focused on making New Jersey more affordable for families, continuing to ensure a strong economic recovery from the pandemic, lowering taxes, crucial infrastructure investment, quality and affordable healthcare for each and every American, and ensuring our communities are safe from gun violence.”
Selen: “I am running for Congress because I want to give back to my community by helping the people of New Jersey and my country who gave me so much along the way.”
DeGroot: “I’m deemed the most conservative candidate in the CD11 race. Let’s not send another entrenched politician to Washinton and expect different results. I have no connections to special interests. I have worked within the bureaucracy of government from the municipal to federal level and have gotten things done.”
Anderson: “I’m running for my kids. They are the engine of my campaign. President Biden needs to go. I am part of the free Joe Biden movement. I’m running, finally, because I love this country.”
McAndrew: “I’m running for Congress because we need diverse representation in government. As a nurse, first responder, mentor, COVID survivor, mother, grandmother, farmer and business owner I know first-hand what our communities have endured over the past two years. I will bring common-sense solutions to the issues that affect our country and New Jersey … and I am the only candidate that can defeat Mikie Sherrill!”
Halter: “In my son’s room is Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ speech. We need people that are going to step into the ‘arena’ and fight for this country. That’s what I plan to do. We need less politicians and more everyday people in DC.”
William Westhoven is a local reporter for DailyRecord.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
Thank you so much for supporting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.