Rebecca Michelle “Mikie” Sherrill- Inspirational New Jersey Congresswoman
Zara Syed | December 2021
Our history is, and will continue to be, a reality living inside of us that builds on to the people we have become today. Reading about a history that lacks woman empowerment does diminish a firing torch in many girls. Disregarding womens’ ideas and accomplishments would be a grave mistake. Mikie Sherrill, an accomplished female figure in our community, helps us recognize the strength that the world can draw from women’s empowerment. Being a former U.S. navy helicopter pilot, attorney, and former federal prosecutor, her influence on reinforcing female empowerment is evident and strong.
“When women have the freedom to choose their own path, it leads to a better future for all of us.” — Mikie Sherrill
Every hero’s journey starts with their childhood. Whether that involves challenges that push them to become who they are today, or it is led by a trail of events that guided them to their role, their childhood was formative in their future. For Mikie Sherrill, her childhood began in Alexandria, Virginia.
As a child, Sherrill aspired to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. She was proud to be the granddaughter of a former WWII pilot. Soon after graduating from Naval Academy in 1994, she became a U.S Navy H3 Sea King. Sherrill’s missions often transpired in Europe and the Middle East. In 2000, she was moved to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, a base six miles out from Nueces County, Texas. For nine valiant years, Sherrill served in the U.S. Navy, the final five being the Lieutenant. Before obtaining the Lieutenant Commander position she was offered in 2003, she left the Navy. In present time, as a congresswoman, Mikie Sherrill and three other women veterans set a record; 4 women veterans in congress is the most recorded in history. This reinforces Mikie Sherrill’s strive in empowering women.
After her journey in the U.S. Navy, she knew that it was time for her to start a new chapter in life… law! The unfair incidents in the Middle East and the continued use of archaic laws, acted as impetus for Sherrill to pursue a law degree. Georgetown Law seemed well-aligned with her Catholic values. In the summer of 2007, Sherrill was an associate with Kirkland & Ellis while simultaneously completing her J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center. From 2008 to 2011, she worked in the litigation department. After this, Sherrill took a step closer to her position today. She took the role of an outreach and reentry coordinator in the U.S. Attorneys’ Office. In 2015, she was promoted and became an Assistant United States Attorney of New Jersey, working for Paul Fishman. In the spring of 2016, Sherrill knew that this was one more step to her position today, and she had accomplished all she could for Paul Fishman.
On May 11th, 2017, her journey in the U.S. office officially started… She launched her campaign for New Jersey’s 11th congressional district of the United States House of Representatives! Issues like climate change, tax relief for middle class families, access to affordable healthcare, preventing gun violence mattered to her just as they resonated with so many people. This was a moment that defined the desire she had aimed to fulfill her whole life. Since the seat she was running for had been held by Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican candidate, who had 12 terms, she knew that this was her chance to make a difference and get the seat in the U.S. house of representatives. In November, Sherrill got support from comedian, Chelsea Handler, through building onto her campaign. Many companies and people also endorsed Mikie Sherrill’s campaign including the political action committee, VoteVets.org, the pro-choice demotratic PAC EMILY’s list, the editorial board of New York Times, and the New Jersey chapter of Clean Water Action. Her transparency and sheer passion continues to shine through her work; this is why so many companies and brands endorsed Mikie Sherrill.
In June 2018, Mikie Sherrill won the democratic primary by 77% of the vote thus, beating a determined Democratic candidate, Tamara Harris.
During the primary election, Mikie Sherrill raised 2.8 million dollars and another 1.9 million dollars during the second quarter of 2018, setting an impressive record. On November 6, 2018, her work ethic and passion and above all values and issues paved her path to success. Sherrill defeated Jay Webber, Republican candidate, with 56.8% of the vote. In 2020 Mikie Sherrill ran once again, and won with 53% of the vote.
In conclusion, Mikie Sherrill’s work ethic and inspiring passion is defined through her accomplishments and confident strides. Pioneer female figures like Mikie Sherrill are vital to keep our nation prospering. Mikie Sherrill is an outstanding role model who can give everyone something to learn from. From being a Veteran to being an effective member in Congress, Mikie Sherrill has and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. Her leadership and strong will is an asset and light that can guide our country to a fair and accepting disposition.