As we get closer to the June 8 primary election, North-JerseyNews.com will post a weekly notebook of press releases produced by the candidates.
At a virtual event on May 13, statewide progressive advocacy organization New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) announced its endorsement of Governor Phil Murphy for re-election in 2021. NJCA staff and board members were joined by the Governor and New Jerseyans who have been positively impacted by the Murphy Administration’s policies.
“In the past few years, Governor Murphy has proven himself to be a strong and capable leader, as well as committed to the health and success of working- and middle-class New Jerseyans,” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, NJCA Executive Director. “Throughout the pandemic his policies have kept us safe and guided the state to health and economic recovery. He has put working families first since day one, increasing access to higher education, health care, paid leave, and child care. With inequality still at unsustainable levels in this country, we need the Governor’s progressive leadership for four more years to continue these important strides.”
“New Jersey Citizen Action has long been a leading progressive voice at the forefront of issues that matter most to New Jerseyans,” said Governor Murphy. “Together, we’ve made unmistakable progress toward creating a stronger, fairer, and more equitable New Jersey that lives up to our shared values. I’m thrilled to receive this endorsement and eager to continue our work tackling the challenges facing New Jersey families.”
A diverse panel spoke on how policies enacted by Governor Murphy have improved their day-to-day lives, along with thousands more like them across the state. During his first term, the Governor has meaningfully expanded access to health care and increased economic opportunities for middle- and working-class families. Policies like paid and family leave, health coverage subsidies, an increased minimum wage, expanded Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, and affordable community college can be the difference between health and illness, between financial ruin and financial mobility for the average NJ family.
“CWA 1036 and the NJ Time to Care Coalition (NJTCC) worked to pass paid sick days and improve paid family leave for years,” said Michele Liebtag, Political and Education Director at CWA Local 1036, NJTCC member, and NJCA Board Member. “However, it took Governor Murphy coming into office and leading the way for these vital issues to be passed and effectively implemented.”
NJCA’s endorsement process is conducted by its Political Action Committee. When evaluating a gubernatorial endorsement, NJCA considers how a candidate’s record and campaign aligns with the organization’s priorities, including access to health care, education affordability, tax fairness, racial and economic justice, and financial relief for families and individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. NJCA also conducted an interview with Governor Murphy on these issues and more.
Republican frontrunner for governor Jack Ciattarelli today released the following statement after the New Jersey Senate held a hearing to discuss the FY 2022 Department of Health Budget.
A lack of transparency, a lack of accountability, and no investigation into 8,000 deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. That is all the people of New Jersey have received from the Murphy Administration after this disastrous negligence,” said Ciattarelli. “Time and again, Senate Republicans have stepped up to the plate to hold the Murphy Administration accountable for their careless actions, and just like all New Jerseyans, they have been completely ignored. This pattern of failure is not only deeply concerning, it is dangerous. We deserve nothing short of a full and complete investigation into the nursing home deaths.”
The Phil Rizzo for Governor Campaign announced the formation of the Faith Leaders Advisory Council, composed of religious leaders of different faiths and religious denominations. The Council will meet regularly to address first amendment issues in New Jersey, as religious freedom has repeatedly been a topic of contention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several religious institutions across New Jersey have sued Governor Murphy, after the governor ordered their doors shuttered as part of his administration’s attempt to control the virus.
“This is not about politics. This is about our rights as Americans to practice our religion, regardless of what that religion may be. If not practiced, religion is just a word – but the government has repeatedly stood in the way for every person here to actively practice our chosen religion. During the past year, Phil Murphy deemed liquor stores and landscaping as essential, yet all houses of worship were ordered closed for business. We can’t go back, but we can work together to ensure no governor gets to arbitrarily decide that Church or synagogue doors are to be bolted shut. Jack Cittiarelli, who has displayed an alarming amount of ignorance for the entire religious community in New Jersey, would be more of the same ill-advised failed leadership that we saw from Phil Murphy” said Pastor Dominick Cuozzo, who will serve as Chair of the Council.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… Those were powerful words then, and they’re powerful, relevant, words now. Unlike Phil Murphy, who said “…the bill of rights is above my paygrade”, I think the Bill of Rights are important. So much so, that as a Pastor, I never closed our church, and I never instituted mandates of any kind, including masks, social distancing, or facility capacity. The faith community needs to be empowered by a governor who respects the foundation of religious liberty in America. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to hear from these leaders firsthand; to learn from Phil Murphy’s egregious mistakes; and to ongoing dialogue with the New Jersey Faith Leaders Advisory Council to protect every New Jerseyan’s first amendment rights,” said Philip Rizzo.
The Rizzo for Governor Faith Leaders Advisory Council:
- Chair: Dominick Cuozzo, Pastor – Bible Baptist Church, New Egypt NJ
- Vice Chair: Clenard Childress, Pastor – New Calvary Baptist Church, Montclair NJ
- Gary Clark, Pastor – Calvary Chapel Gloucester County, Turnersville NJ
- Yisrael Knopfler, Rabbi – Congregation Premishlan, Lakewood NJ, Chief Rabbinical Justice, Lakewood Rabbinical Court;
- Jeff McCloud, Sr., Pastor – Rio Grande Bible Baptist Church, Rio Grande NJ
- Geneveve Vincent, Pastor – Vision of Promise Ministries International Inc., Plumsted NJ
State Senate and Assembly
Former Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) backs the reelection of Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce in LD26.
“I am supporting Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce for re-election to the New Jersey Assembly. We have been friends for well over thirty years, and she is thoughtful, hardworking, and a very conscientious public servant. She is a conservative Republican who knows the issues and cares about New Jersey’s future.
I’ve had the honor of representing all the towns in her legislative district, when I served in Congress, so I can personally attest to her commitment to her home county of Morris, but also to communities in Essex and Passaic. When you are on the road in politics, day in and day out, you know who works their district and who doesn’t. BettyLou DeCroce was always there, loyal and true.
While it may not be politically correct, I’ve sort of felt that 2021 is another Year of the Woman. Goodness knows that women in the political arena work twice as hard to get elected than most men. BettyLou is one of them, with a professional background in municipal government before representing us in Trenton. She fights for all of us, and we need her there, again, because she is fearless.
BettyLou DeCroce deserves your support, whether by absentee, or in person voting, on Tuesday, June 8. Look for her on Column 5!”
EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Valerie Vainieri Huttle for State Senate in the 37th Legislative District, which spans 13 towns in Bergen County, including the communities of Teaneck, Palisades Park, Hackensack, Fort Lee and Englewood.
“There has been no greater champion of women’s reproductive health and rights in New Jersey than Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle,” said Sarah Curmi, Vice President of State & Local campaigns at EMILY’s List. “She has been at the forefront of codifying protections for the women, children and LGBTQ+ citizens of New Jersey into law, and EMILY’s List is proud to endorse her in her bid for State Senate District 37.”
In her capacity as Assemblywoman, Vainieri Huttle has championed the passage of landmark legislation to protect victims of sexual assault, combat human trafficking and prevent abuse and neglect in group homes. Presently, Vainieri Huttle is sponsoring New Jersey’s landmark Reproductive Freedom Act, legislation that would safeguard Roe v. Wade and expand access to reproductive healthcare for all New Jerseyans, regardless of income, zip code or immigration status.
Additionally, the group is backing Assemblywoman Annette Quijano.
“These two extraordinary women have years of experience advocating for marginalized communities and passing legislation that betters the lives of all New Jersey families,” Emily Cain, executive director of EMILY’s List. “The EMILY’s List community is proud to support these groundbreakers who have made history through their public service – Annette Quijano as the first woman and first person of color assembly member to represent her district and Valerie Vainieri Huttle as the first woman to serve as Chair of the Bergen County Board of Commissioners. By prioritizing LGBTQ+ rights, addressing the maternal mortality crisis, and passing legislation that expands paid leave and protects survivors of sexual assault, the New Jersey state legislature has made tremendous progress with them in office. EMILY’s List is thrilled to endorse these trailblazers to the New Jersey Legislature.”
Richard D. Pompelio has announced his support for Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-26).
“I am pleased to support BettyLou DeCroce for re-election to her current seat in the New Jersey General Assembly. Beginning in 1989, when crime victim survivors, like myself, began the Victims’ Rights movement in New Jersey and up to the present time, BettyLou has stood arm and arm with us in our fight to give recognition to the constitutional rights of crime victims.
“As a member of the General Assembly, BettyLou has used the voice of her authority in Trenton to lead the cause for Victims’ Rights in New Jersey. She has given her time, compassion, and passion for personal justice to advance the rights of survivors of homicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and other crimes of violence. BettyLou is a problem solver. Whenever I have asked her to help with a problem involving an innocent victim who had nowhere else to turn, BettyLou’s efforts helped make the difference.
“The statewide crime victims organizations, and advocates for whom I speak, continue to need BettyLou DeCroce as a strong voice in the State Legislature. Tomorrow’s victim cannot lose her. The rights of victims in New Jersey, especially female victims of violence, are too important.”
The New Jersey Sierra Club announced its endorsement of Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle’s campaign for State Senate.
“We are proud to announce our endorsement of Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle for State Senate in New Jersey’s 37th Legislative District,” said Richard Isaac, Chair of the Sierra Club New Jersey Chapter. “Valerie is a legislator who has earned our endorsement by providing incredibly strong leadership on environmental and environmental justice issues from keeping lead out of our drinking water, to reducing pollution and increasing recycling, keeping smoking away from our public parks and beaches, and ensuring that all of us have affordable housing.“
Isaac continued, “New Jersey needs a fighter in the State Senate, and Assemblywoman Huttle is a proven, steadfast environmental champion, who has fought for – and will continue to fight – to protect the health of New Jersey’s environment and the well-being of New Jersey families. We believe that Valerie will continue to be a strong environmental leader, and we fully endorse her for State Senate in the Democratic Primary through to the election this November.”
Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce has been endorsed by the International Longshoremen’s Association.
“I am so grateful to the International Longshoreman’s Association and their President, Harold Daggett, for this endorsement and their vote of confidence. As a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee, I know the vital role the ILA and their members play in the NJ economy and the economy of the entire region. I am humbled by this endorsement and promise to always to be a partner with important stakeholders like the ILA.”
Dennis Bergman, President PBA Local 43, announced the police union has endorsed Esperanza P. Field in the Democratic Primary for Morristown Mayor.
“I don’t think that PBA Local 43 has ever endorsed a political candidate before but that’s how important we feel this is. Our members voted 47-7 with 2 abstaining in favor of this endorsement,” said Bergman.
“Community policing starts with a healthy relationship between the town administration and our union members. Esperanza’s views on community policing align with ours as well as other issues facing our agency members. We work for the community and look forward to strengthening relationships between the town leaders as well as community leaders.”
John C. Arnold announced he has secured key endorsements in his race to become the first Black Sheriff in the 339-year-history of Essex County, New Jersey. The former Deputy Police Director and ordained pastor is competing for the Democratic nomination and to date he has received key endorsements from police groups across the county along with leading Black pastors who are integral in the national fight for criminal justice reform.
The Superior Officers of Essex County Department of Correctional Police, FOP Lodge 106 endorsed Arnold, stating that his track record as a former Deputy Police Director for the city of Newark and his commitment to police reform is what the county needs to move policing forward in the wake of a clarion call across the country for better community police relations. In addition, the Essex County Police Benevolent Association endorsed Arnold on April 22 in a unanimous vote and wished Arnold “continued success in the election.”
Arnold also received support from key clergy members, including Rev. Dr. Steffie Bartley, Senior Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church and Northeast Regional Director for National Action Network, one of the leading civil rights organizations in the country.
According to Pastor Bartley: “It was through John’s leadership that NAN and the AG’s office started a program in Newark where Essex County Pastors took to the streets to become chaplains and created transparent community dialogues to address concerns in the wake of police misconduct across the country.”
Pastor Jerry Smith, Senior Pastor at Transcend Worship Center and Vice President of National Action Network’s Irvington, New Jersey Chapter, works closely with Essex County leadership on outreach and ministry in the community. He is supporting Arnold because he is the viable force that is needed right now to reform policing for the betterment of Essex County.
“As a pastor, the community comes to us for answers and I am often called to deliver eulogies for residents that are victims of crime, gun violence, and even victims of police misconduct and excessive force, and community members need a leader like John Arnold that will be an accountable advocate for us.”
Among the areas of reform that Arnold has pledged to address include community-based initiatives & working partnerships, mandatory body cameras, enhanced training, diverse and fair hiring practices.
The Hudson County Young Republicans announced their new chairman—Pavel Sokolov. Sokolov, the new Chairman of the Hudson County Young Republicans, stated that, “I am excited to advocate for commonsense GOP policies and spread the Republican message of smaller and more efficient government, proud American patriotism, and job growth.” He continued, “every Republican, both officially Young Republican, between the ages of 18 and 40, and those GOPers who are young at heart, are invited to come to our cookout Friday the 14th at 6 pm, located at 1234 Park Avenue in Hoboken, to have a great time with their fellow Republicans and meet the Young Republican county board.”
NJ GOP State Committeeman Joshua Sotomayor Einstein, himself a former Hudson County Young Republican Chairman and former Executive Board member of the New Jersey State Young Republican Federation stated that, “the new executive leadership of the YR’s [Young Republicans] is terrific!” “Pavel and his board understand that in the era of ‘critical race theory,’ the economic destruction of the Biden administration, the abandonment of public-school families, and the individual rights trampling done by Democrats, there is an amazing opportunity to reach out to the public and grow the Republican party,” Sotomayor Einstein continued.
Chairman Sokolov stated that his “aim is to link up like-minded GOPers in the county with one another in order to build the party and to foster freedom and commonsense conservative principles.”