Trump Endorses Webber In Congressional Race


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President Donald Trump today endorsed state Assemblyman Jay Webber in the race to succeed Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen in NJ11th, the congressional district that includes Verona.

Webber thanked Trump for the endorsement on his Twitter feed, saying “Thank you Mr. President! I look forward to working with you to make the people in #NJ11 and across America even more prosperous and free!”

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Webber has been supportive of some Trump policies, especially the tax plan passed last December. In August he used the murder of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts by an undocumented farm worker to call for an end to sanctuary cities and open borders. (Tibbetts father wrote in the Des Moines Register to object to the politicization of her death saying, “Don’t distort her death to advance racist views.”) More recently, however, Webber has backed off on capping the federal deduction for state and local taxes and he recently released an ad featuring his father stressing his support for Medicare, even though Republican leader Paul Ryan has pledged to cut it as a way of reducing federal entitlement programs.

It is not clear, however, what lift, if any the endorsement will provide to Webber, who is locked in a very closed race with Mikie Sherrill. Trump won the once heavily Republican 11th congressional district by only one percentage point in 2016, and Webber’s Twitter critics were quick to point out that, unlike Webber, Sherrill is both a veteran and a former federal prosecutor.

Webber and Sherrill have been invited to three debates next month, although Webber has agreed to only one of the three so far, a televised event by NJTV on Wednesday, October 10. The other two debates, which Sherrill has agreed to, are October 9 at the Ogdensburg Historical Society Candidate Night and October 11th at the League of Women Voters’ Wayne Televised Candidate Debate. Sherrill and Webber are both scheduled to appear before the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, although on separate nights. Morris County towns make up the bulk of the 11th congressional district, which Verona was gerrymandered into in 2012.

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