Last Updated on September 28, 2021
Turkish immigrant turned GOP House candidate, Tayfun Selen bad-mouthed 45th President Donald J. Trump and the American People to the Turkish press after becoming Mayor of Chatham Township, NJ in 2019. Boasting that his election was a “slap in the face” of conservatives, Selen denigrated voters he claims to have won over with “pledges” as “white… poor and angry Americans.”
According to his campaign website, Tayfun Selen immigrated to the United States from Turkey in 1996 and became an American citizen in 2008. After an unsuccessful campaign for the state legislature, he was elected to his local governing board, the Chatham Township Committee, in 2017. Two years later, Tayfun Selen became the first Turkish-born Mayor in America when he became Mayor of Chatham Township, New Jersey.
After becoming the first Turkish Mayor in the country, Selen boasted to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News that his “election was a slap in the faces of anti-immigrant, far-rightist Americans” who he claims to have “convinced” with “efforts and pledges” to elect him to the Committee.
Expressing his opposition to President Trump and appearing to show disdain for poor Americans, who he said blame migrants for their misfortunes, Selen went on to tell the publication that “on one side we have white, male, rich Americans. On the other side, we have the white, but poor and angry Americans. They claim the migrants got everything from our hands.”
“But I told the voters that the election of a Turk would give a small but important message especially within the Republican Party,” Selen continued, going on to say that when he “joined the Republicans, Trump wasn’t President.”
In addition to the Hurriyet Daily News article, several other Turkish publications reported on Selen’s appointment as Mayor, marking the moment as a jubilant occasion for the Turkish people and nation.
In 2020, Tayfun Selen was elected as a Morris County Commissioner, before announcing his latest bid for office, a 2022 run for the GOP nomination to Congress in New Jersey’s 11th District. According to a biographic piece in The Daily Record announcing his run, Selen told reporters that he has had no contact with President Trump or his representatives. Selen also told The Daily Record that much of his campaign will center around his status as a Muslim and Turkish immigrant, saying that “our country is stronger because of diversity.”
Selen is part of a field that so far consists of at least five candidates vying for the 11th District’s GOP nomination to take on Democrat incumbent and close Biden ally Mikie Sherrill next November. Among his primary race opponents is Tom Toomey, who appears to enjoy frontrunner status early on in the race, running a pro-Trump campaign while focusing on his business background and an America First theme. According to his campaign website, Toomey has a background in the business world and worked as senior staff at the RNC to aid President Trump during the 2020 Election.
Democrat Mikie Sherrill, the incumbent, was elected as a moderate Democrat in 2018. Despite claiming to be a moderate, Sherrill joined her Democrat colleagues in repeatedly voting to impeach President Trump. As of September 2021, Sherrill has reportedly voted with the Biden agenda 100% of the time since President Trump left office in January of 2021.
Following the January 6th Capitol Hill protest against election fraud, Sherrill made the bizarre false claim during a Facebook live stream that she had seen Republican elected officials giving “reconnaissance” tours of the U.S. Capitol Building to anti-fraud demonstrators in the days ahead of the event. She was the subject of an ethics complaint in response to the phony accusation.
Despite the 11th District’s large Jewish population, Sherrill has campaigned with U.S. Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, the Democrat who appeared to dress up as Adolf Hitler for Halloween in photographs presented in the Merchant Marine Academy yearbook, published by National File last year.