North-JerseyNews.Com’s Weekly Campaign Notebook For May 1

As we get closer to the June 8 primary election, will post a weekly notebook of press releases produced by the candidates.


Republican contender for governor Jack Ciattarelli is again hitting the airwaves with a statewide television and digital advertisement titled ‘Gone’ in the New York City and Philadelphia Designated Market Areas (DMA) and online. ‘Gone’ comes on the heels of Ciattarelli announcing a plan for New Jersey’s full reopening.


Growing up, my parents owned a bar and restaurant, creating jobs, opportunity, a sense of community.

Their example inspired me to open my own business.

I’m Jack Ciattarelli. Phil Murphy’s lockdowns killed businesses like this. Gone are our favorite pizza places, our salons, the corner bakery. Gone are the jobs they provided and the people who work there.

Wall Street guys like Murphy just don’t get it.

When these businesses close, it hurts all of us. New Jersey, we can do better. When I am governor, we will.

“Phil Murphy doesn’t understand the struggles of hard-working New Jerseyans, because he simply isn’t one of us,” said Ciattarelli. “One in three small businesses shuttered their doors, rising property taxes are forcing people to flee, and the governor’s arbitrary lockdowns are crushing the state’s small businesses. Governor Murphy’s failure to provide a clear and specific plan for reopening our state is a failure of leadership marked by cowardice. It doesn’t have to be this way – the people of New Jersey deserve better.”

Ciattarelli’s previous seven-figure ad buy for ‘Scared and Alone’ and ‘Anderson Street’, ran through the months of March and April and aimed at introducing himself to Garden State voters and holding Governor Phil Murphy accountable for his failures.


Republican gubernatorial candidate Phil Rizzo is taking his bid for public financing to court after the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission twice denied his application for matching funds, according to New Jersey Globe.

The Hudson County pastor’s appeal, filed April 26, claims ELEC was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” in denying his application, which was submitted outside of normal operating hours a day after the deadline.

Rizzo’s campaign says he had raised more than the $490,000 needed to qualify for public dollars ahead of the April 5 deadline to file for public financing.

His campaign submitted its initial application for matching funds after 8 p.m. on April 6. During an emergency hearing on an appeal to the commission last week, ELEC commissioners said that made it two days late.

They also found his application lacked required information about how he planned to spend his funds. That information was included in his second application to ELEC, filed roughly two weeks late, though many of the contracts his campaign submitted were dated after the April 5 deadline.

The campaign filed on an emergent basis, seeking an expedited hearing schedule. In a separate filing, ELEC agreed that the matter should be heard quickly.

Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Jack Ciattarelli has already received roughly $2.9 million in public matching dollars. He’s the only GOP candidate to qualify for the program, which can provide candidates with up to $4.6 million in public funds for the primary.

Gov. Phil Murphy has already maxed out his primary fund match.

ELEC’s denials were a major blow to Rizzo’s campaign and a sizeable boon to Ciattarelli, who is running as a moderate and will benefit from the absence of a well-funded primary challenge.


Hetty Rosenstein will join Gov. Phil Murphy’s re-election campaign as a senior advisor for progressive coalitions and outreach.

Rosenstein joins the campaign four weeks after her retirement as one of the state’s most influential and relevant labor leaders, the Communications Workers of America.  Her 40-year career there including 14 years as New Jersey State Director of a union that represents about 40.000 state workers and over 70,000 New Jersey families.

While Murphy remains hugely popular among progressive Democrats, Rosenstein’s job will be to ensure that activists produce votes.

“The campaign for the re-election of Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver is a campaign for continued progress,” said Rosenstein. “I could not be more proud to work for a campaign that embraces diverse voices and New Jersey’s progressive leaders. The values that have united us and moved New Jersey forward over the last three-plus years will create a mandate for even greater change and progress.”

Murphy said it would be “an understatement to say that Hetty Rosenstein is a force of nature for organized labor and progressive causes that matter to New Jersey’s working- and middle-class families.”

“From raising the minimum wage to expanding access to health care, Hetty has been an exceptional partner in our fight to create a stronger and fairer New Jersey,” Murphy stated.  “Hetty has a deep understanding of what it takes to build a winning coalition, and I’m thrilled to have her on our team.”

State Senate and Assembly

Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District and Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District together endorsed Gordon M. Johnson for State Senate today, highlighting Johnson’s historic campaign and unparalleled commitment to public service.

“There’s no better leader in our District 37 communities to help manage our fights for education funding, for environmental protection, for gun control, for criminal justice reform, and for equality than Gordon Johnson,” said Congressman Pascrell. “Throughout his career, Gordon Johnson has shown an unswerving sense of duty to our cities and towns. Gordon understands what it means to put working families first and that the government’s job is to protect our most vulnerable neighbors. This year voters have an opportunity to make history by electing Gordon Johnson to the State Senate and I am proud to support his campaign.”

“Gordon Johnson has been unwavering in his commitment to the people of Bergen County,” said Congressman Gottheimer. “From his days in the Army reserves to his years as a first responder in the Englewood Police Department, from his commitment to social justice to his advocacy for vital infrastructure improvements, Gordon Johnson has always put his community and our country first. Gordon has been an invaluable ally in some of our most important fights in Washington and I am proud to endorse him for State Senate.  I can’t wait to see him, and his running mates, make history this November.”

Congressman Pascrell and Congressman Gottheimer join a number of major statewide figures to endorse Gordon Johnson for State Senate, including: Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.


The SEIU NJ State Council is proud to announce its endorsement of Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle in the Democratic primary for Senator in the 37th District in Bergen County.

In her 15 years representing the district in the Assembly, Asw. Vainieri Huttle has been a champion for issues affecting women and working people. The endorsement decision was difficult, as both Democratic candidates have been advocates in supporting legislative solutions for working families and would serve the district well.

However, Vainieri Huttle’s outspoken leadership on issues important to SEIU families sets her apart. She has been a progressive leader in addressing the concerns of our communities and shares SEIU’s vision of promoting racial, economic, gender and environmental justice.

“Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle has always been willing to engage in dialogue, listen to our members and act to find solutions for New Jersey’s working people. She has been a leader in promoting equity and inclusion,” said Milly Silva, President of the Council and Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Health Care Workers East. “We wish Senator Loretta Weinberg well in her retirement—she has been an outstanding leader and progressive voice for her district, and we know that Asw. Vainieri Huttle will carry on the vital work of building a more equitable, just, and prosperous New Jersey.”

“This endorsement reflects our members’ confidence that Asw. Vainieri Huttle is the best choice for the open senate seat in District 37. She has been tireless in working on behalf of her constituents and a staunch ally as we advocate for fair working conditions, wages and benefits,” said Megan Chambers, Vice-President of the Council and Co-Manager of the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service (LDFS) Joint Board, Workers United, SEIU.


Raymond M. Pocino, who represents over 45,000 workers as the Eastern Regional Manager of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, issued the following statement today endorsing Gordon M. Johnson for State Senate:

“For the two decades I have known him, Gordon Johnson has been steadfastly and reliably on the right side of issues that matter most to LIUNA members and to working families everywhere. Beyond the issues, there is also the man and his character. Gordon Johnson is a leader who takes his oath of office seriously. He works hard, listens carefully, and strives for results, not attention. There is much more work to do in New Jersey—to support families, invest in our communities, and grow the economy—and Gordon Johnson is the right kind of leader to get things done.”

LIUNA Eastern Region represents more than 45,000 members in Delaware, New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, and Puerto Rico—providing a skilled and experienced union workforce trained to work safely in the construction and energy industries.


New Jersey’s leading organization for increasing Latina representation in government and politics, Latinas United for Political Empowerment Political Action Committee (“LUPE PAC”) proudly announces their first wave of endorsements for the 2021 election season.

LUPE PAC is proud to support the following candidates running for office in the upcoming June primary election:

  • Annette Quijano – New Jersey State Assembly, Legislative District 20
  • Valerie Vainieri Huttle– New Jersey State Senate, Legislative District 37
  • Lauren K. Dayton– New Jersey State Assembly, Legislative District 37
  • Gervonn Romney Rice– New Jersey State Assembly, Legislative District 37

LUPE PAC is a non-partisan political action committee whose mission is to increase the number of Latinas in elected and appointed offices in the State of New Jersey. The organization promotes and supports progressive leaders who stand up for an agenda that invests in Latina civic and political leadership and advances critical issues that matter to Latinas in New Jersey. This year, the organization has experienced inquiries from an overwhelming number of Latinas running for office.

“The numbers don’t lie. Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and contribute in large amounts to the strong economic success of New Jersey,” stated Laura Matos, President of LUPE PAC. “Our goal is to encourage Latinas to run for office so that they can secure these elected roles at a rate that is more representative of our population. Latinas are running in record numbers to address the issues impacting our communities. It is an honor to endorse these women who will continue to fight for people as we are fighting COVID-19.”

Quijano is the current Majority Conference Leader for the General Assembly and has served in the assembly since 2008. Vainieri Huttle has been serving as an Assemblywoman for District 37 since 2006. Rice is currently a member of Teaneck Council and Dayton is a first-time candidate and both are running for Assembly in District 37. 

“This is the first wave of endorsements,” says Noemi Velazquez, chair of the endorsement committee for LUPE PAC. “All elections are important, but it is crucial that we support our women to win primaries, as this will ensure them a place on the November ballot, thus bringing them a step closer to victory.”

LUPE PAC is committed to helping Latinas engage in the political process and helping them run for public office while raising early money so they can become viable contenders.

LUPE PAC is a non-partisan political action committee whose specific mission is to increase the number of Latinas in elected office in the State of New Jersey and to advocate for issues that impact Latinas in New Jersey. All contributions to LUPE PAC are not tax deductible.


The New Jersey Right to Life (NJRTL) PAC endorsed State Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce for re-election in the 26th Legislative District, calling her one of the strongest pro-life leaders in Trenton for nearly a decade.

Assemblywoman DeCroce has been a leading voice in the pro-life fight by:

  • • Opposing the so-called “Reproductive Freedom Act”, which would eliminate prosecution for infanticide, perhaps the most radical and grotesque pro-abortion bill ever
  • • Co-Sponsoring the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”, which prohibits abortion after 20 weeks, a time at which medical studies have shown that unborn babies feel pain
  • • Pushing back against a radical decision by the Board of Medical Examiners to repeal rules that only allow doctors to perform abortions in hospitals or surgery centers
  • • Spearheaded, as a prime sponsor, the “Born Alive Survivor’s Act” to protect newborn babies who defy the odds and survive an attempted abortion.
  • • Backs the “Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Prevention Act” to fight the scourge of the illegal, underground sex trade targeting young children all across the world

“Assemblywoman DeCroce has been a steadfast defender of the unborn and is one of the strongest pro-life voices in our state,” said Marie Tasy, NJRTL PAC Executive Director. “BettyLou isn’t afraid of a fight and she never compromises her values. I urge all pro-life voters to return her to the State Assembly this year.”

“As a mother, and a grandmother, I know firsthand that every life is precious and every baby is a gift from God,” said DeCroce. “The radical, pro-abortion movement sweeping the country – and being led by Governor Murphy and the radical liberals in Trenton – is out of control. Now, more than ever, we need people willing to stand up and stop this madness. I am proud to call myself pro-life and honored to have earned this endorsement.”



 U.S. Senator Cory Booker endorsed Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty’s bid for re-election.

“Mayor Tim Dougherty loves his community and is deeply committed to the residents of Morristown,” stated Senator Booker. “As a former Mayor myself, I know the job is not always easy, but time and time again, Mayor Dougherty has risen to the occasion; as he has done throughout the pandemic, where he continues to help families and local businesses get through this extraordinarily difficult period. I’m proud to endorse Mayor Dougherty for re-election and, together with Councilwoman Toshiba Foster, Councilman David Silva and Nathan Umbriac, I know he will keep Morristown moving forward.”

Under Mayor Dougherty’s leadership, Morristown has held the municipal tax rate stable over the last decade, improved Downtown Morristown, and received awards from Downtown NJ, New Jersey Chapter of American Planning Association and NJ Smart Workplaces, among numerous others.

Mayor Dougherty is running with the “Morristown First” team of Councilwoman Toshiba Foster, Councilman David Silva, and Nathan Umbriac in the June 8 Democratic Primary.


The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), the 25,000-member political powerhouse in New Jersey, has announced its support for Ravi Bhalla for re-election as mayor of Hoboken.

“The New Jersey Laborers Union enthusiastically endorses Ravi Bhalla for mayor. We have seen first-hand how his leadership and commitment to the residents of Hoboken have made a difference. From protecting vulnerable residents and workers from COVID-19, supporting local business, and upgrading and modernizing Hoboken’s aging infrastructure, Ravi has shown that local government matters and experience and the ability to find practical solutions to the challenges facing Hoboken matters even more” said Raymond M. Pocino, international vice president and eastern regional manager of LIUNA.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla said, “I am honored to be recognized by the New Jersey Laborers and look forward to continuing our partnership with its hard-working members to improve Hoboken’s infrastructure. As mayor, I will continue to stand up for working people.”


The entire delegation of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) representing all 17 unions within Essex County voted unanimously to endorse former Newark Deputy Police Director John C. Arnold, Jr. for Sheriff Of Essex County in the upcoming Primary Election.

The PBA Conference is comprised of all PBA union locals representing law enforcement personnel from Police Departments throughout Essex County including Corrections.

Delegates from the following PBA locals were present and represented during the unanimous vote to endorse John Arnold for Essex County Sheriff: Belleville PBA Local #28; Bloomfield PBA Local #32; Essex County Corrections PBA Local #382; Essex County Sheriff’s Officers PBA Local #183; Essex County Prosecutor’s Office PBA Local #325; Glen Ridge PBA Local #58; Irvington PBA Local #29; Maplewood PBA Local #44; Millburn PBA Local #34; Livingston PBA Local #263; Montclair PBA Local #53; Nutley PBA Local #33; Orange PBA Local #89; South Orange PBA Local #12; Verona PBA Local #72; West Essex PBA Local #81; and West Orange PBA Local #25


Governor Phil Murphy announced his endorsement of Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty for re-election.

“As Mayor, Tim Dougherty has earned a reputation for principled, forward-looking leadership and always puts the residents of Morristown first,” said Governor Murphy. “In response to the many challenges of the pandemic, Mayor Dougherty is supporting hard-hit small businesses, delivering real results, and moving Morristown forward. Mayor Dougherty, along with Councilwoman Toshiba Foster, Councilman David Silva, and Nathan Umbriac, is the right choice to build on Morristown’s progress, and I’m proud to endorse his candidacy for re-election.”

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