This article is republished from MyVeronaNJ.com, with permission.
By Virginia Citrano
Seven women who serve in the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate came to Montclair on Friday to voice support of Mikie Sherrill and share their experiences of working in state government with Jay Webber.
Sherrill and Webber, respectively, are the Democratic and Republican contenders for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district, where Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen is retiring after 12 terms.
“I am hear to tell you that Jay Webber is not going to be our next congressman,” said state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37th).
“He fought tooth and nail against refunding Planned Parenthood. He led the charge against putting money in the budget for women’s healthcare.”
Gesturing to the legislators standing next to her in a woman-owned art gallery in Montclair, Weinberg added, We’ve served with him, we’ve seen his No votes, we’re here to tell the women in New Jersey that if you come out to vote you will have a new wonderful strong voice in Congress with Mikie Sherrill.”
The female legislators included state Senators Nia Gill (D-34th), Linda Greenstein (D-14th), and Nellie Pou (D-35th), and state Assemblywomen Nancy Pinkin (D-18th), Angela McKnight (D-31st) and Britnee Timberlake (D-34th).
Some of their districts are outside the boundaries of the 11th Congressional district, which includes towns in Morris, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties.
Despite a huge fundraising edge over Webber, and a blitz of campaign mailings and cable TV ads, Sherrill leads him by just four points, according to a recent Monmouth University poll. That’s within the survey’s margin of error.
Earlier this week, House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed Webber at a rally in Florham Park. Vice President Mike Pence also has campaigned for him in Morris County.
President Trump has tweeted support for Webber, and will hold a fundraiser for his campaign on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in Washington D.C.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords have stumped for Sherrill in New Jersey.
On Friday, the state legislators offered their perspective on Webber from their time in state government with him. Greenstein noted that Webber voted against a bill that would have required domestic abusers with restraining orders against them to surrender their weapons.
Webber, said Pou, was “against helping New Jersey counties to help the homeless, against foreclosure assistance, against worker safety, against after-school programs for at-risk children. “We cannot allow Jay Webber to continue his war on women in the U.S. Congress.”
Assemblywoman Pinkin took issue with Webber’s vote in March against the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, which she said Webber had deemed “unnecessary.” She said that when women are paid less, it affects their Social Security benefits and their pensions.
“I would suggest that the Assemblyman did not read the bill,” added Weinberg. “If he thinks that is all symbolic he doesn’t understand the difference between symbolism and reality.”
For her part, Sherrill said Webber “has chosen to put his own partisan ideology above the women in the district.”
Asked by the reporters why she has not taken a stronger stand against President Trump’s policies on women, Sherrill disagreed, saying, “I have, by running for Congress.”
“Me ranting about Trump would not move the agenda,” Sherrill added. She said voters in the 11th district want her “to come up with a plan about how we can move this country forward … Our real needs for the future are going to go on far beyond President Trump.”