First-term Rep. Mikie Sherrill defended her seat against Republican Rosemary Becchi in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District

The first-term Rep. Mikie Sherrill defeated the Republican Rosemary Becchi to win reelection in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, according to Decision Desk HQ.

The candidates

Sherrill, the incumbent, is a nine-year veteran of the US Navy, where she served as a helicopter pilot and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. After obtaining her law degree post-military, she worked for a litigation firm before becoming an assistant US attorney while working under US Attorney Paul Fishman.

The 11th District was previously represented by the Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen for 24 years from 1995 to 2019. Frelinghuysen, who served as the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee in his last term, retired in 2018. That year, Sherrill defeated her Republican opponent Jay Webber by nearly 15 percentage points. Before Sherrill was elected to office, the district had not been represented by a Democrat since Joseph Minish lost his reelection fight in 1985. She is the first woman to represent the district in its 107-year history.

See live coverage and full results for the US presidential election

In Congress, Sherrill serves on the committees on the Armed Services and on Science, Space, and Technology. She’s also a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and New Democratic Coalition, two caucuses comprised of moderate Democrats.

Becchi, Sherrill’s challenger, is a tax-policy attorney and consultant with experience working at the Internal Revenue Service and as a staffer on the Senate Finance Committee.

She centered her campaign platform on lowering taxes, strengthening border security, and reforming the healthcare system. She won an endorsement from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The district

New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District is located in the state’s northern region. The wealthy, suburban district is home to a chunk of Morris, Passaic, Essex, and Sussex counties, including the cities of Montclair, Morristown, and Pompton Lakes.

In the 2016 presidential election, the district narrowly voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in a 49%-48% split of the vote.

The district is one of 30 in the US that voted for Trump but are currently represented by Democrats in the House.

The money race

According to the Centre for Responsive Politics, Sherrill raised over $US6 million, spent over $US2.7 million, and had over $US3.6 million in cash on hand, while Becchi raised over $US1.3 million, spent about $US1.1 million, and had about $US168,000 in cash on hand.

What experts say

The race between Sherrill and Becchi was rated as “safe Democratic” by Inside Elections,The Cook Political Report, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Centre for Politics.

Expanded Coverage Module: insider-voter-guide