After eight weeks of calling, emailing, and letter writing, I finally received my first response from my assemblyman, Jay Webber. As a Jefferson resident, I live in New Jersey’s 26th district and have been trying to reach Webber about his past and upcoming votes in the Assembly. I have even hand-delivered letters to his legislative office, which I have usually found to be closed without office hours posted anywhere, either physically or online. It appears that Webber is more concerned with waging a divisive campaign against his opponent in the race for the 11th congressional district, Mikie Sherrill, than with the actual governance of our district.
This will come as no surprise to those of us who are familiar with Webber’s voting history. According to votesmart.org, from 2008 to 2018 he voted “nay” 135 times out of 165 total votes and logged “no vote” 10 times. Over those 10 years, Webber sponsored only 2 bills. A quick internet search reveals that the thing “Just Say Nay” Jay is most known for his grandstanding on the floor of the Assembly.
And now he’s taking this playbook to the campaign trail. Between August 1 and 6, Webber’s public Facebook page published four anti-immigration posts attempting to paint Mikie Sherrill as an anti-law enforcement candidate. Yes, you read that right. Mikie Sherrill, the former federal prosecutor. Mikie Sherrill, the former Navy helicopter pilot. In a recent press release, Webber even went so far as to say that “immigration and protecting … ICE have become some of the most important issues in this campaign,” while challenging Sherrill to a single issue debate on immigration.
Does Webber really think that the single most important thing affecting us here is immigration? Does he really think that aligning himself with extremist immigration policies and rhetoric will win him the moderate, independent-minded voters of the 11th? I would love to see a debate, but let’s make it about all the things we care about here. Debate tax reform issues like permanent federal caps on our SALT deductions. Debate common sense gun legislation that helps make our schools safer. Debate climate, health care, education – debate it all.
Mr. Webber, we are not looking for a no-show, “nay”-voting, single-issue representative to send to Washington. This is what has gotten our outgoing congressman such negative attention over the past year and a half. We need a change. We need an advocate here and in Washington. We need Mikie Sherrill.
Megan Curry, Oak Ridge (Jefferson)
Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted to our newsroom and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Jefferson Chronicle or it’s staff.