Chats With Post Eagle
Reporter Jim Dombrowski
By James Dombrowski
NEW JERSEY – The 11 Congressional District in New Jersey is about as Republican as any Republican District in America. A true blood blue with roots to the Mayflower, Rodney Frelinghuysen, has been representing the District. And Morris County, which makes up a large portion of the District, voted for FDR’s opponent in FDR’s four wins for the Presidency.
So when I sat down with Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat running for Congress, I was hoping to learn what this Class of 1994 Naval Academy Graduate had in her veins. It was apparent that the helicopter pilot, lawyer, wife, and mother of four is made of perseverance that can only be learned at Annapolis were character and camaraderie, and a willingness to serve her country has made this 46 year old first time candidate for public office a challenger to win the Democratic Primary on June 5 and the General Election in November.
Another factor which sparked my interest in interviewing this first time candidate who is running in the Democratic Primary for Congress was the heroism shown by Tammy Jo Shultz who was trained as a Navy Pilot and saved a plane that loss its cabin pressure from crashing. Shultz did not attend Annapolis but military training played a critical role in her nerves of steel which helped control the plane and landed it safely. Serving in Congress may not be the same as flying fighter jets, passenger planes or helicopters, but the loss of getting anything done for the American people may only be cured by sending leaders who have the ability to focus on getting the impossible done.
Mikie Sherrill, a Montclair resident with four children ages 12, 10, 8 & 6, is the dictionary example of a soccer mom who takes the kids to soccer and lacrosse practice. After serving 10 years of active duty, Mikie decided to get a law degree from Georgetown which helped her obtain the position of a US Attorney under the direction of Paul Fishman in the Newark Office. Prior to working in Newark, Sherrill worked for the successful Law Firm of Kirtland & Ellis in NYC. Her qualifications and dedication to her job could have led to a very lucrative position in private industry, but her belief to serve took the opportunity of being a US Attorney which cannot be measured in dollars and cents.
After a time, she decided in 2017 to become a stay-at-home mom to her two boys and two girls. Her husband, Jason, a Financier in NYC, was very supportive of her staying home. The couple met at Annapolis of which he is also a Class of 1994 Graduate. There true destiny of being together was cemented in Italy where they were both stationed.
Staying home was terrific, yet a desire to serve runs in her veins. With the hardships she has been seeing caused by the Republican controlled Congress , and local issues in District 11, she believes she can tackle them and led Sherrill to throw her proverbial hat into the Democratic Primary coming up on June 5.
When I sat down with her for a quick interview prior to a Debate, you could sense her passion to challenge the establishment. Running against a field of Democrats in the Primary was just fine because the training you get at the Naval Academy makes you mentally tough and, doing stuff that is uncomfortable and difficult is learned and applied in the field. Her training to fly a helicopter also doesn’t hurt. Note: Her grandfather was a fighter pilot during World War II.
The competitiveness of the Democratic Primary should make for a good candidate to challenge the Republican opponent in the November election. So remember to vote on June 5th in the Congressional 11th District in New Jersey.
PHOTO: Post Eagle Reporter Jim Dombrowski sits down for a one on one with Congressional Candidate Mikie Sherrill. Mikie is running in the Democratic Primary in the 11th Congressional District in NJ.