2022 NJ Primary Election: 11th Congressional District Candidates
Four years ago, Democrat Mikie Sherrill rode the ‘blue wave’ of the 2018 midterm election in District 11. The former Navy helicopter pilot and federal prosecutor is running unopposed in Tuesday’s primary for what would be his third term in a district that had been controlled by Republicans for 33 years.
Having secured the best party voting lines in Morris and Essex, Tayfun Selen appears to be a favorite on the Republican side. The former mayor of Chatham Township is currently a director of the Morris County Commissioner Board. Four Republicans stand in his way to oppose Sherrill in November.
NJ’s 11th Congressional District Candidates
Mikie Sherrill is seen by some New Jersey party leaders as a strong contender for higher office. A third term would cement her as a possible future candidate for governor or the Senate. A defeat would be a blow for his party.
At Tayfun Selen Going from a gas-pumping Turkish immigrant in Madison to a successful business career was quick. He was elected to the Chatham Township Committee and served a one-year term as mayor before becoming county commissioner. His momentum and name recognition in Morris County are in his favour.
Paul DeGroot is an attorney and former Passaic County prosecutor who claimed the Passaic County line in the primary. He now lives in Montville. His campaign website says he “comes from a blue-collar family who upholds 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 end left-wing policies and undo the culture supported by the Biden-Pelosi-Sherrill agenda.
Ruth McAndrew is a hospice triage nurse from Randolph who says she is running for Congress “because we need diverse representation in government.” She promotes home health insurance for the elderly, PTSD support for healthcare workers and essential workers; parental rights in education, health and religious freedom.
Alexander Halter is applying for a position for the first time. A Denville resident who works as a regional television producer, Halter describes himself as “America’s First Trump Republican.”
Composition of the district
The district is dominated by Morris County (28 of 46 towns) with suburban extensions into Essex County and Passaic County. The redistricting removed Republican strongholds from Sussex County while adding Democratic-dominated Dover to District 11. These changes appear to have added to Sherrill’s advantage.
Infrastructure; affordable housing and redevelopment; property taxes and the reinstatement of the national and local tax deduction, commonly referred to as SALT; inflation; flood; environmental concerns, including lake algae.
Top of Sherrill’s list of priorities is lowering taxes and lowering health care and childcare costs. 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 her merits as a tax curator in Chatham Township and as 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 American 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 masks have stunted the progress and development of his own children. He also wants to protect religious freedom.
McAndrew said his top priorities are keeping children safe in schools. “We all need to work together to create a safe, secure and nurturing learning environment,” he said. “Get Congress to focus on America and do its job – restore and protect our economy, our energy, our borders, our environment, and most importantly the rights and freedoms of the people.”
Halter said his priority is “to end the destruction and the pain that the Biden regime is causing to the people of this country.” It starts with taking over the House/Senate in 2023 and re-electing President Trump in 202424.”
The money raised
Mikie Sherrill’s campaign raised $4,120,732.53, with $5,647,495.26 in cash, as of the Federal Election Commission’s pre-primary 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 had 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 — teamwork, cooperation, and putting the needs of my country before my own. This is what guides my work in Congress. I am focused on making New Jersey more affordable for families, continuing to ensure a strong economic recovery from the pandemic, lowering taxes, investing in critical infrastructure, providing quality health care and affordable for every American, and to ensure that our communities are safe from gun violence. .”
Selen: “I’m running for Congress because I want to give back to my community by helping the people of New Jersey and my country who have given me so much along the way.”
DeGroot: “I am considered the most conservative candidate in the CD11 race. Let’s not send another entrenched politician to Washington and expect different results. I have no ties to special interests. I have worked within government bureaucracy, from the municipal to the federal level and got things done.”
Anderson: “I run for my children. They are the engine of my campaign. President Biden must go. I am part of the free movement of Joe Biden. I run, finally, because I love this country.”
McAndrew: “I am 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 firsthand what our communities have endured over the past two years.. I will bring common sense solutions to the issues affecting our country and New Jersey…and I am the only candidate capable of defeating Mikie Sherrill !”
Halter: “In my son’s room is Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ speech. We need people who will step into ‘the arena’ and fight for this country. That’s what I plan to do. We need fewer politicians and more regular 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.