After months of member outreach, including phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, and campaign events, 12 of NJEA Political Action Committee’s (PAC) 14 endorsed candidates won election last month. Additionally, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes by a large margin, but ultimately fell short of victory in the national election.
“NJEA/NJREA members worked tirelessly to support and elect pro-public education candidates who gained our PAC endorsement,” said NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer. “When we support candidates, we don’t just put their names in a press release. We get out in our communities to talk to our friends and family members about the need to elect strong advocates for public education at every level of government. I’m proud of the efforts of our members, and I know that their efforts will ultimately benefit our students, our schools, and our communities.”
The most watched congressional race in New Jersey was the CD-5 contest that pitted challenger Josh Gottheimer against longtime incumbent Scott Garrett. Gottheimer, who earned the NJEA PAC’s endorsement based on his strong support for public education, ousted Garrett with support from NJEA members who canvassed and phone banked for him in the weeks leading up to the election.
“I’m pleased that we helped elect Josh Gottheimer, because he is a true advocate for educators, for students and for public schools,” said NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan. “Adding him to New Jersey’s congressional delegation sends a message to Washington, DC about what New Jersey’s voters value.”
Also on the ballot were Sen. Patrick Diegnan and Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, who were running in special elections to fill the state legislative seats they had previously been appointed to in LD-18. Both won and will continue to serve in those seats leading up to next year’s general election in New Jersey.
“We were proud to endorse and support both Patrick Diegnan and Robert Karabinchak,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean M. Spiller. “Senator Diegnan built an exemplary record in the Assembly, including his service as chair of the Assembly Education Committee, and we look forward to working with him in the Senate to advance public education in New Jersey. Assemblyman Karabinchak has also shown that he’s an advocate for our members and students, and we look forward to building that relationship as well.”
Below is the complete list of NJEA PAC’s endorsements in the November general election. Winners are bolded.