The New Jersey Education Association’s 125-member political action committee (NJEA PAC) has voted to endorse three legislative candidates in the 2021 primary election, which will be held on June 8, 2021. In October 2020, NJEA PAC endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy for governor in the Democratic primary.

In Legislative District 16, NJEA PAC has endorsed Andrew Zwicker for Senate and Roy Freiman for the Assembly in the Democratic primary. In Legislative District 26, NJEA PAC has endorsed BettyLou DeCroce in the Republican primary. NJEA PAC had previously endorsed Joe Cryan for Senate in the Legislative District 20 Democratic primary.

“We are proud to support both Republicans and Democrats in their respective primaries,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “Our members look at results, and all of these candidates are proven advocates for students and public schools. Our endorsement comes with a commitment to work for these candidates because we know action speaks louder than words.”

“BettyLou DeCroce is a solution seeker,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “Her door is open and she cares about her constituents. Educators in her district know they can approach her with ideas and she will listen. We need more of that in our politics so we are proud to support her again.”

“Andrew Zwicker and Roy Frieman have partnered in the Assembly for the last two terms to keep our schools strong and to advocate for students,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty. “NJEA members are supporting them in their primary races for Senate and Assembly because they have demonstrated their commitment to our shared values.”

Assemblywoman DeCroce sponsored Ch. 44 and Assemblyman Freiman co-sponsored the bill that provided much-needed relief on skyrocketing health care costs for public school employees and has the potential to save $1 billion a year. All three of the endorsed candidates voted in favor of the bill.

Both Assemblyman Zwicker and Assemblyman Freiman were prime sponsors of the educational support professional subcontracting bill that NJEA vehemently supported. All three of the endorsed candidates voted in favor of the bill.

All three endorsed candidates were co-sponsors of the just cause arbitration bill and voted in favor of the bill.

All 120 legislative seats are up in the 2021 general election, as well as the governor’s seat.

Earlier this month, candidates in the Republican gubernatorial primary were invited to participate in NJEA PAC’s screening process. Based on the results of that screening, the NJEA PAC Operating Committee did not endorse any candidate for governor in the Republican primary.

In October, NJEA PAC endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy in the Democratic primary.

Despite the challenges imposed by the global pandemic, NJEA PAC maintained their standards and practices for endorsements. Candidates were invited to respond to a questionnaire about their public education and labor priorities and they were invited to attend a virtual screening with members of their local screening committee, made up of NJEA members from their legislative district. The screening committee made recommendations to the full NJEA PAC, which voted on their recommendations.

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