Republican Jay Webber called a news conference to chide his opponent Mikie Sherrill for supporting the movement to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
“My opponent has organized rallies calling for the abolition of ICE, organized rallies calling for open borders. It is a stark contrast between me and Mikie Sherrill,” Webber said.
Webber had two county sheriffs with him to underscore the point.
“A few weeks ago, Jay’s opponent had a rally to abolish ICE, and I think that’s very dangerous and it’s a radical move,” said Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada.
I think the concept of abolishing ICE amounts to a head in the sand response,” said Morris County Sheriff James Gannon.
“You know, Jay Webber is doing, I think, what typical politicians do when they don’t have a vision of how to serve their community,” Sherrill said.
Sherrill, who was hosting a roundtable Wednesday for female veterans, says Webber is wrong about her position on ICE.
“I don’t believe in abolishing ICE. I’m a former federal prosecutor and I’ve worked closely with Homeland Security. But we really need to move forward in this community,” she said.
Webber insists otherwise.
“Mikie organized a rally where the abolition of ICE and open borders was demanded. That’s wrong,” he said.
Sherrill says the rally may have contained anti-ICE supporters, but that’s not why she was there.
“The rally was really concerned about border separations. And I think we can improve our border security, while at the same time not taking children away from their parents and really, still, not being able to get those children back to their parents,” Sherrill said.
“Well, that’s a flip-flop on an August afternoon. She was happy to stand with the far left of her party when it suited her, and now she’s feeling a little heat and she changes her position,” Webber said.
Sherrill is chiding Webber over a few things, like the move by congressional Republicans to make permanent the cap on state and local tax deductions, part of last year’s Trump tax bill.
“I think we have got to get back our state and local tax deduction. We certainly shouldn’t be making that permanent. It’s been very detrimental to the economy of New Jersey. And I’ll tell you in Essex County, where I live, Moody’s says that property values are going to go down by 10 percent. So not only are we paying more taxes, but we’re losing our home values. So we really have to fight to get the deduction back,” Sherrill said.
“The cap shouldn’t exist in the first place, so it’s hard to make permanent something I think shouldn’t exist in the first place,” Webber said.
“He [Webber] supports the tax bill, and the way the tax bill is paid for is through our state and local tax deduction. So I assume he supports making it permanent,” Sherrill said.
“It was part of a larger tax package that benefits the residents of the 11th Congressional District more than any other district in the state of New Jersey. There’s a $6,000 tax cut that the average family of four in this district gets because of that tax reform package,” Webber said.
Sherrill also criticized Sen. Tom Cotton’s vote Tuesday not to extend the National Flood Insurance Program. Cotton hosted a fundraiser in Washington D.C. for Webber.
“Here we have a bipartisan bill, over 80 senators agree on it on both sides of the aisle, and Sen. Cotton was very vocal against it. And I think it’s very important that Assemblyman Webber support the Flood Insurance Bill. We’re here in Passaic County today. This is a county very impacted by flooding. It’s very important to have the flood insurance here, and I think Webber should repudiate Sen. Cotton and his vote today,” Sherrill said.
“Mikie’s really reaching. I’ve worked so hard to alleviate flood problems for the people of Fairfield, Wayne, Lincoln Park, Pequannock. During my time in the Legislature, you know, Michael, I represent those flood-prone areas of the Passaic River Flood Basin. It’s been an issue I’ve been a leader on. And Mikie’s late to the part on this as well because I commended Congress for extending this Flood Insurance Program. It’s what they should have done,” Webber said.
Webber-Sherrill is going to be one of the most closely watched congressional races this year in New Jersey, and possibly nationally.