The New Jersey Education Association is endorsing the Hudson County Democratic Organization’s picks in the 31st, 32nd, and 33rd Legislative Districts.
“NJEA members’ decision to begin our endorsements early shows our commitment to making a difference in this election cycle,” NJEA President Sean Spiller, VP Steve Beatty, and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson said in a joint statement.
“The 120 legislators who are elected in November will play a major role in determining whether our schools remain the best in the nation, so we are determined to elect public education advocates to those positions. Every candidate endorsed in this first round has proven they deserve the support of NJEA members.”
The HCDO backed Assemblyman Raj Mukherji for the state senator in the new LD-32, along with John Allen and Jessica Ramirez for state Assembly, at a January 7th presser that included Gov. Phil Murphy (D), U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (D-NJ), among many others.
At the same event, state Senator Brian Stack, of LD-33, also the Union City mayor, got the local party’s backing, as did West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco – both of whom are running for state Assembly.
The LD-31 situation was far more complicated with state Senator Sandra Cunningham expected to retire due to health reasons. Last month, the HCDO supported Assemblywoman Angela McKnight for the seat.
Joining her on the ballot are Assemblyman William Sampson, and Barbara Stamato, the chair of the Jersey City Democratic Organization and the Hudson County coordinator for Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s gubernatorial run.
The only challengers are in LD-31, with Michael Griffin running for Senate and Shanelle Smith running for Assembly.
“By acting early in these key races, we will have more time to do the grassroots work needed to elect our endorsed candidates. And our endorsement comes with our commitment to do that work,” the NJEA officials added.
“We look forward to more endorsements in the coming weeks and months as we work to build a legislative majority that shares our values, respects our profession, and is committed to the success of our students.”
According to the NJEA, candidates were invited to respond to a questionnaire about their public education and labor priorities and they were invited to attend a screening with members of their local screening committee, made up of NJEA members from their congressional district, and reflecting the diversity of NJEA’s membership.
The screening committee made recommendations to the full NJEA PAC, which voted on their recommendations.
The primary election in New Jersey is on June 6th and the NJEA only endorsed Democratic candidates across the state.