The New Jersey Education Association Political Action Committee has endorsed a split ticket of Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti and candidate Kristen Zadroga Hart in the 31st Legislative District Assembly race.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“NJEA’s endorsements are well aligned with NJEA’s organizational goals,” NJEA Government Relations Director Ginger Gold Schnitzer said in a statement.
“We have been very clear about our commitment to changing the leadership in the New Jersey State Senate, and it is critical that we help to deliver victories for candidates who share our members’ values so that we can create opportunities to get better policy outcomes in the next legislative session.”
Hart, a longtime Jersey City school teacher and operative for the Jersey City Education Association, said she was “humbled and honored” to receive the support of three major education groups.
“I’m humbled and honored to have unanimously received the endorsements of the JCEA, HCEA and NJEA,” she wrote on Facebook last night.
“Fighting for a quality education for every student, in every zip code is one of the main reasons I entered this race and to have the support of educators throughout the state of New Jersey reaffirms my commitment to this campaign.”
Hart is running with Bayonne Board of Education Trustee and Hoboken teacher Christopher Munoz, but the NJEA instead went with Chiaravalloti – who teaches at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City.
The incumbent, who as also endorsed by the JCEA, was equally thankful for the support, indicating that the NJEA recognized his continuing fight with Gov. Chis Christie (R) when it comes to public education (although his opponent doesn’t feel that way).
“I appreciate the confidence and support expressed by the endorsement of the NJEA. Their endorsement for my re-election recognizes my track record of standing up to Governor Christie to fight for public school funding, fighting for our teachers, and fighting for our students. I thank all the NJEA PAC Committee members,” Chiaravalloti said in an email.
He added that he was “disappointed” the group did not endorse his running mate, fellow incumbent Angela McKnight, calling her a “fantastic partner in Trenton” and is a great part of the LD-31 slate, along with veteran state Senator Sandra Cunningham.
The PAC also endorsed Phil Murphy for governor, calling Christie’s two terms eight years of failed leadership, though also left the door open to rebuilding relationships with Republicans as Christie’s time in office nears an end.