The New Jersey Education Association’s 125-member political action committee (NJEA PAC) has voted to endorse eight candidates for the New Jersey Senate and 12 candidates for the Assembly in their first round of endorsements. These endorsements reflect NJEA’s commitment to engage early in the process to ensure pro-public education candidates are on the ballot in November. There will be additional endorsements after the primary.
Those candidates who have currently secured NJEA PAC’s endorsement are:
LD 11: Vin Gopal (D) for Senate and Margie Donlon (D) and Luanne Peterpaul (D) for Assembly.
LD 16: Andrew Zwicker (D) for Senate and Roy Freiman (D) and Mitchelle Drulis (D)for Assembly.
LD 18: Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. (D) for Senate
LD 19: Joseph F. Vitale (D) for Senate
LD 31: Angela V. McKnight (D) for Senate and Barbara McCann Stamato (D) and William B. Sampson IV (D) for Assembly.
LD 32: Raj Mukherji (D) for Senate and John Allen (D) and Jessica Ramirez (D) for Assembly.
LD 33: Brian P. Stack (D) for Senate and Gabriel Rodriguez (D) and Julio Marenco (D) for Assembly.
LD 38: Joseph A. Lagana (D) for Senate and P. Christopher Tully (D) and Lisa Swain (D) for Assembly.
NJEA’s officers, President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty and Secretary-Treasurer, Petal Robertson, released the following statement:
“NJEA members’ decision to begin our endorsements early shows our commitment to making a difference in this election cycle. 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.
“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.
“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.”
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.