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Mikie Sherrill
Mikie Sherrill
Member of the United States House of Representatives

Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Rodney Frelinghuysen
Personal details
Born Rebecca Michelle Sherrill
January 19, 1972(1972-01-19) (age 49)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jason Hedberg
Children 4
Website House website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1994–2003
Rank US Navy O3 infobox.svg Lieutenant

Rebecca Michelle Sherrill[1][2] (/ˈmki/; born January 19, 1972)[3] is an American politician, former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, and former federal prosecutor[4] serving as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey's 11th congressional district since 2019. The district includes a swath of exurban and rural areas west of New York City. A member of the Democratic Party, Sherrill was elected on November 6, 2018, defeating Republican Jay Webber.[2][5]

Early life and education[]

Sherrill was born in Alexandria, Virginia.[2] She grew up in various locations along the East Coast of the United States due to her father's job.[2][6]

Sherrill graduated from South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia.[7][8] In 1994, she graduated from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis with a B.S.[1] In 2003, Sherrill received a M.Sc. in economic history from the London School of Economics. In 2004, she received a certificate in Arabic language from The American University in Cairo. In 2007, Sherrill earned a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.[9]

Military career[]

Sherrill graduated from flight school in the first class of women eligible for combat.[10] After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1994, Sherrill became a U.S. Navy H3 Sea King helicopter pilot and a Russian policy officer.[2] Sherrill flew missions throughout Europe and in the Middle East.[6][9] In 2000, she was based at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.

Sherrill was a Russian policy officer when she worked at the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Navy, Europe.[2][11]

Sherrill served in the United States Navy for nine years as a Lieutenant.[12] In 2003 Sherrill was nominated for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.[13] She left the Navy in 2003 before obtaining a permanent promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.[14]

Law career[]

In the summer of 2007, after receiving her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center, Sherrill was a summer associate at Kirkland & Ellis.[15] From 2008 to 2011 she worked as an associate in the litigation department at Kirkland & Ellis's New York City office.[16]

Assistant U.S. Attorney[]

In 2015 Sherrill became an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, a federal prosecutor, working under U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.[2][17] She left that office in the spring of 2016.[6] She had planned on going into the field of criminal justice reform.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives[]


2018 general election[]

On May 11, 2017, Sherrill launched her campaign for New Jersey's 11th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.[18][19] The seat had been held by 12-term Republican incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who in January 2018 announced he would not seek reelection.[8][20][21] It had been considered a Republican stronghold, but Frelinghuysen was thought to be vulnerable after Donald Trump only carried it by a single point in 2016.[22] The district had been made slightly more Democratic on paper when redistricting after the 2010 census pushed it further into Essex County, including the northern portion of Montclair around Sherrill's home. However, Frelinghuysen had been reelected three times from this redrawn district against only nominal Democratic opposition.

In November 2017 comedian Chelsea Handler, who is from Livingston, came to Montclair to show her support for Sherrill's campaign.[23] Sherrill was endorsed by the political action committee organization,[24] the pro-choice Democratic PAC EMILY's List,[25] the editorial board of The New York Times,[26] and the New Jersey chapter of Clean Water Action.[27]

In June 2018 Sherrill won the Democratic primary with 77% of the vote, beating social worker and entrepreneur Tamara Harris.[28][29][30] Sherrill raised $2.8 million during the primary election, placing her among the top House fundraisers in the country.[31][32] Her campaign raised $1.9 million in the second quarter of 2018, setting a record for a House candidate from New Jersey in one quarter.[33] On November 6 Sherrill defeated Republican Jay Webber with 56.8% of the vote to Webber's 42.1%.[34][35] The election marked the largest partisan vote share swing in the 2018 cycle,[citation needed] with a 33-percentage-point swing from a 19-point Republican margin in 2016 to a 15-point Democratic one in 2018.[36]


When she took office in January 2019, Sherrill became the first Democrat to hold the seat since 16-term incumbent Joseph Minish was defeated in 1984 after the district was redrawn to be more Republican.[37] She was the first Democrat since Minish's defeat to garner more than 40 percent of the vote in the district. Sherrill is the only elected Democrat above the county level in much of the western portion of the district—Frelinghuysen's former base. For instance, in the district's share of Morris County, which accounts for most of its population, all but one state senator and two state assemblymen are Republicans.

Following her election, Sherrill joined the moderate New Democrat Coalition, the largest Democratic caucus in the House, and was named its freshman whip.[38] She also joined the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of moderate and conservative House Democrats.[39] Per a promise to her constituents, she did not vote for Nancy Pelosi to retake the Speakership, instead voting for Cheri Bustos of Illinois.[40]

In 2019, Sherrill initially opposed exploring the impeachment of President Trump, but changed her mind in September after a whistle-blower alleged that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden.[41] According to one report, Sherrill was instrumental in motivating House speaker Nancy Pelosi to proceed with the impeachment inquiry and said her "grave concerns" about Trump's behavior were "rooted in self-sacrifice and principle."[42] An op-ed she co-wrote with six other freshman Democrats with national security backgrounds—Gil Cisneros, Jason Crow, Chrissy Houlahan, Elaine Luria, Elissa Slotkin and Abigail Spanberger—said, "everything we do harks back to our oaths to defend the country" and "these new allegations are a threat to all we have sworn to protect."[43]

Committee assignments[]

Caucus memberships[]

  • Blue Dog Coalition[45]
  • Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues
  • New Democrat Coalition[46]

Electoral history[]

Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mikie Sherrill 35,338 77.4
Democratic Tamara Harris 6,615 14.5
Democratic Mark Washburne 1,538 3.4
Democratic Alison Heslin 1,253 2.7
Democratic Mitchell H. Cobert 885 1.9
Total votes 45,629 100
New Jersey's 11th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mikie Sherrill 183,684 56.8
Republican Jay Webber 136,322 42.1
Independent Robert Crook 2,182 0.7
Libertarian Ryan Martinez 1,386 0.4
Total votes 323,574 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

Personal life[]

Sherrill is married to Jason Hedberg, a classmate and graduate of the United States Naval Academy[47][48] who served as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer. The couple has lived in Montclair with their four children since 2010.[6][9]

Sherrill wanted to be a pilot from a young age, inspired by her grandfather who served as a pilot in World War II.[9]

See also[]

  • Women in the United States House of Representatives


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Nominations – Naval Academy Graduates: Rebecca M. Sherrill". May 5, 1994. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Aron, Michael; Sherrill, Mikie (February 17, 2018). "Season 2018 Episode 7: Congressional Candidate Mikie Sherrill" (Video interview). On the Record with Michael Aron, NJTV. PBS. 
  3. "Rebecca Michelle "Mikie" Sherrill". Archives of Women's Political Communication. Iowa State University. Retrieved September 12, 2018. 
  4. Tackett, Michael (January 29, 2018). "From Annapolis to Congress? These Three Women Know Tough Missions" (in en). The New York Times. 
  5. Ruiz, Michelle (August 31, 2017). "Welcome to the Trump Jump: These Women Are Ready to Take On the Most Powerful Men in Congress" (in en). Vogue. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Friedman, Matt (May 12, 2017). "New Jersey Playbook Interview: House candidate Mikie Sherrill" (in en). Politico. 
  7. "Sherrill, Mikie". 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fouriezos, Nick (May 24, 2018). "Mikie Sherrill flew helicopters for the U.S. Now she wants to turn D.C. blue". KYTX. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Mallon, Maggie (September 1, 2017). "Mikie Sherrill Once Flew Helicopter Missions in the Navy—Now She's Running for Congress" (in en). Glamour. 
  10. Walsh, Michael (July 10, 2018). "The New Jersey race that could be key to Democrats retaking the House". Yahoo News. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  11. Danzis, David (March 16, 2018). "Sherrill's service to country not finished yet" (in en). New Jersey Herald. 
  12. Ballotpedia, Encyclopedia of American Politics, Bio of Mikie Sherrill. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  13. "To be Lieutenant Commander: Rebecca M Sherrill". September 3, 2003. pp. S11048. 
  14. Izzo, Michael (May 11, 2017). "Former Navy pilot challenges Frelinghuysen". Daily Record. Retrieved 17 August 2018. 
  15. "2007 New York, Summer Associates: Rebecca Sherrill". Kirkland & Ellis. 2007. 
  16. "2008 Fall Associates, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, New York, NY: Rebecca Sherrill". Kirkland & Ellis. 2008. 
  17. "United States v. Francisco Vallejo, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus". United States District Court District of New Jersey. June 1, 2016. "Rebecca M. Sherrill, U.S. District Attorney" 
  18. Kiefer, Eric (May 11, 2017). "Montclair Woman, Ex-Prosecutor To Challenge Frelinghuysen For Congress". Montclair, NJ Patch. 
  19. Zaremba, Justin (May 11, 2017). "Ex-Navy helicopter pilot plans to challenge Rep. Frelinghuysen" (in en-US). 
  20. Frelinghuysen, Rodney P. (January 29, 2018). "Statement of Representative Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ-11)" (Press release). Rodney P. Frelinghuysen. 
  21. Jordan, Mary (February 7, 2018). "After Iraq and Afghanistan, pioneering women in the military set sights on Congress" (in en-US). The Washington Post. 
  22. "Is Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen really vulnerable in 2018?". The Record. May 22, 2017. 
  23. Kaulessar, Ricardo (November 1, 2017). "No joke! Chelsea Handler comes to Montclair for politics" (in en) (Includes video). 
  24. "VoteVets PAC Endorses Mikie Sherrill for Congress" (in en). 
  25. "Mikie Sherrill, U.S. House, New Jersey" (in en). EMILY's List. Retrieved July 9, 2018. 
  26. Editorial Board (May 28, 2018). "Opinion: Mikie Sherrill for New Jersey Democrats" (in en). The New York Times. 
  27. "Helping Elect Pro-Environmental Candidates to Congress" (in en). Clean Water Action. June 11, 2018. 
  28. Corasanti, Nick; Flegenheimer, Matt (June 5, 2018). "Democrats Gain Spots to Battle for Crucial House Seats in New Jersey" (in en-US). The New York Times. 
  29. Salant, Jonathan D. (June 5, 2018). "Former Navy pilot, ex-Obama officials to lead Jersey Dem charge to win House at Trump midterm" (in en-US). 
  30. Almukhtar, Sarah (June 5, 2018). "New Jersey Primary Election Results" (in en). The New York Times. 
  31. Stiles, Charles (June 4, 2018). "Mikie Sherrill and other women 'appalled' by Donald Trump make record run for Congress" (in en). USA Today. 
  32. Golshan, Tara; Prokop, Andrew (June 5, 2018). "Live results for New Jersey's Senate and House primary races". Vox Media. 
  33. Jackson, Herb (July 16, 2018). "Shattering NJ record, Mikie Sherrill raises $1.9 million for House race" (in en). North Jersey. 
  34. "N.J. Election 2018: Mikie Sherrill wins House seat for Democrats, beats Jay Webber" (in en-US). 
  35. "New Jersey's 11th Congressional District election, 2018 – Ballotpedia" (in en-US). Ballotpedia.'s_11th_Congressional_District_election,_2018. 
  36. "New Jersey Election Results 2018: U.S. House, New Jersey 11th congressional district", Politico.
  37. NARVAEZ, ALFONSO A. (11 November 1984). "MINISH CONSIDERS CAUSES OF HIS LOSS". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  38. Connolly, Griffin; Connolly, Griffin (January 10, 2019). "Houlahan, Sherrill take leadership roles among freshman Dem moderates" (in en). Roll Call. 
  39. "Blue Dog Coalition Elects 3 New Co-Chairs to Lead Them in Next Congress". Roll Call. November 27, 2018. 
  40. "Here are the 15 Democrats who didn't vote for Pelosi as speaker". Roll Call. January 3, 2019. 
  41. Alia Slisco (October 3, 2019). "TRUMP 'GOING AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION,' DEM. REP. MIKIE SHERRILL TELLS CHRIS CUOMO: 'SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE'". Newsweek. Retrieved October 4, 2018. "...Sherrill ... had not been in favor of moving forward with the impeachment.... However, she stated that the recent allegation Trump asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden has provided an unambiguous case against the president." 
  42. Charles Stile (September 24, 2019). "How Mikie Sherrill's 'grave concerns' pushed Nancy Pelosi to impeachment". New Jersey Record. Retrieved October 4, 2018. "...By citing their past careers "in the defense of our country, Sherrill and her colleagues framed their statement as rooted in self-sacrifice and principle, not partisanship...." 
  43. Michael Kruse (September 27, 2019). "‘It Feels Like a 1776 Kind of Fight’: A freshman congresswoman reckons with the historical weight of standing up to the president.". Politico Magazine. Retrieved October 4, 2018. 
  44. "Committees". Office of Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. Retrieved 24 June 2019. 
  46. "New Democrat Coalition Inducts 30 Members-Elect and Elects New Leadership" (in en). 2018-11-30. 
  47. "Nominations – Naval Academy Graduates: Jason J. Hedberg". May 5, 1994. 
  48. "USNA Men's Rugby Team: All Americans, Eight-Man. Jason Hedberg ('93, '94)". NBC Sports. 1994. 

External links[]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 11th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Donna Shalala
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Elissa Slotkin

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