As we get closer to the May 10 municipal elections followed by the June 7 primary election date, North-JerseyNews.com will post a weekly notebook of press releases produced by the candidates.
5th Congressional District
The National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC) added 21 candidates to its “On the Radar” watchlist of promising Republican congressional candidates today, including Marine veteran Nick De Gregorio in the 5th district.
“Republicans are completely united in our goal of taking back the House and firing Nancy Pelosi,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. “I look forward to working with these candidates to promote our policies to get inflation under control, secure our border, and stop the violent crime wave sweeping our nation.”
De Gregorio was cited for being a strong fundraiser running against Democratic incumbents whose districts were made more Democratic by the state’s new congressional map. De Gregorio hopes to face three-term Rep. Josh Gottheimer.
De Gregorio is facing a Republican primary against 2020 nominee Frank Pallotta and businessman Fred Schneiderman. While the addition to the “On the Radar” list signals that national Republicans are supportive of their candidacies, it does not preclude the possibility that their primary opponents will also receive national backing; the list includes multiple Republican candidates running in the same district elsewhere in the country.
7th Congressional District
The National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) has endorsed Congressman Tom Malinowski for his 2022 campaign cycle. The NOW PAC supports candidates who take uncompromising stances on reproductive rights, economic justice, ending violence against women, and Constitutional equality.
“Throughout my time in Congress, I have committed myself to defending the rights of women and girls at home and around the world,” said Malinowski. “Our work on the road to equality is far from over, and I will do everything in my power to uphold every woman’s constitutional right to choose, to live free from abuse, to equal pay, to education, and more.”
“NOW PAC is proud to endorse New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski for re-election to Congress. Rep. Malinowski is a strong supporter of New Jersey’s action to codify reproductive rights into state law, legislation the Republicans vying to defeat him voted against. Tom Malinowski knows that if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, New Jersey women would be left unprotected without this measure. Tom Malinowski has been a staunch defender of women’s rights, human rights, and gender equality throughout his career in public service, including as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor under President Obama. Congressman Malinowski’s progressive, intersectional record has made him a top target for Republicans, who came within one percent of defeating him in 2020. That’s why NOW PAC is working so hard to call attention to his sterling record and heartfelt commitment to our agenda, and to support him for re-election to New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District,” said NOW National President Christian Nunes.
Phil Rizzo has been endorsed by Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina’s 11th district, and a member of the Freedom Caucus.
“Phil Rizzo is a fighter,” said Cawthorn. “He’s not going to bow to the left or the Establishment RINOS in Congress. Far too many fake Republicans say they’ll run to change Washington and then fail on their promises. Phil is the real deal, and I need him by my side in the D.C. swamp. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Phil for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional district. He will not let us down. New Jersey, send me Phil Rizzo!”
Rizzo called Cawthorn “the right kind of fighter” in Washington and said, “I am grateful for his support and look forward to joining him in the fight to take back the people’s Congress.”
The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) has endorsed Tom Malinowski in his reelection campaign to defend New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District. The union chooses to support candidates who have demonstrated a commitment to New Jersey students, public education, and working families.
In addition to Congressman Tom Malinowski, NJEA endorsed Donald Norcross, Andy Kim, Josh Gottheimer, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne Jr., Mikie Sherrill, and Bonnie Watson Coleman.
“Our union is proud to endorse these candidates and to support them for reelection. They have demonstrated through their actions that they are advocates for public education and for working families. They have stood with educators through these difficult past two years as we have worked to ensure that our schools are safe and that our students are learning. Their commitment to equity and to justice for all is exactly what we need in Washington, DC right now and we are committed to working hard for their re-election so they get to continue that important work next year. An endorsement from our 200,000-member union comes with our pledge of support on the campaign trail as they make their case to voters and promote a vision for moving our state and our nation forward to a fairer, more equitable and more just future,” said NJEA’s officers, President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson
“New Jersey has the best public schools in the nation thanks in good measure to the advocacy of NJEA,” said Malinowski. “Support for our educators is an investment in the future of our kids, and I will never stop fighting to ensure they are treated with the dignity they deserve.”
8th Congressional District
Brian Varela, a former aide to Gov. Chris Christie, has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 8th district where Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) is retiring.
Varela worked in Christie’s communications and press shop during his first year as governor in 2010. He is now the owner of a North Bergen-based digital marketing and web development firm.
The front-runner to succeed Sires is Robert J. Menendez, an attorney and Port Authority commissioner who has secured Democratic organization endorsements in Hudson and Union counties. Varela joins David Ocampo as Menendez’s opponents.
“Brian knows he faces a great challenge, where party leaders have already chosen a candidate to fill the seat,” Varela’s campaign said in a statement. “That is not how Democracy is supposed to work. The people should be able to choose the candidate they feel best represents them, not one chosen for them.”
In a county where Republican support is fast-growing after decades of Democratic dominance, Hudson County Republicans are unveiling bold, conservative candidates that will finally end the Biden-Pelosi-Murphy malaise that is stifling us.
Leading our ticket this year are our congressional candidates who will go to Washington and from Day One start working to really help our county and our country reach their full potential. Most of our county is in the 8th District, where longtime Democrat Albio Sires is retiring. We would like to replace him with Republican Marcos Arroyo of West New York. Mr. Arroyo is a professional housing inspector and has done numerous things in his life to make our community and country a better place. He helped relief efforts after 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Maria. He also helped many immigrants become proud American citizens through volunteering in a training program. Mr. Arroyo will continue that sense of service as our Congressman.
“We need a Congressman who will fight inflation, bring back energy independence and educational choice, and help make our constituents lives better,” Arroyo said.
9th Congressional District
In the 9th District, Hudson County Republicans proudly endorse young conservative veteran Billy Prempeh of Paterson, who ran a great race against out-of-touch Democrat Bill Pascrell in 2020. With the new 9th being significantly less Democratic after redistricting and our extremely strong vote for Jack Ciattarelli in Kearny and Secaucus in 2021, we know that Mr. Prempeh has an excellent chance to represent us in Congress. We join with our friends in Bergen and Passaic County in endorsing Mr. Prempeh.
For county races, we have two business-people who will make Hudson County government more efficient and responsive. For clerk, we endorse Beth Hamburger of Hoboken. Beth will bring her skills from decades on Wall Street to make county government run like business. For sheriff, we endorse Hussain Khoulani of Jersey City, who will be committed to law and order and conservative management of the budget.
“This diverse slate has a chance to replicate what we did here after the Democrats’ major failures in the 1970’s, elect Republicans in Hudson County. It is clear Latinos and other minority groups are no longer automatic Democrats and they are sick of the wokeness and high inflation coming from the Left. I will do everything I can to elect these great candidates,” said county Republican Chairman Jose Arango.
10th Congressional District
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop has endorsed U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., the Democratic Congressman. Representing one of the largest cities in the 10th Congressional District, Mayor Fulop lauded Congressman Payne’s record of delivering federal resources to help hire more police officers and firefighters to keep communities safe, as well as his support for policies that create more jobs and opportunities for residents.
“Jersey City is experiencing an incredible amount of progress but we also have many challenges that we need help from the federal government to address, and that’s exactly why we need Congressman Payne to continue serving our community in Washington,” said Mayor Fulop. “From delivering direct federal funding for important public safety programs, to supporting programs like the CARES Act that helped Jersey City weather the COVID-19 pandemic, to his key role on major infrastructure projects that are essential to our region’s economic future, Congressman Payne has always gotten the job done for Jersey City and I’m proud to support him.”
Congressman Payne has represented portions of Jersey City since he was first elected in 2012. He has delivered numerous federal grants and programs to the community, including $3.5 million in emergency solutions funds for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2020, as well as millions of dollars in loan subsidies for affordable housing initiatives for seniors and disabled residents.
“Mayor Fulop and his team have done a tremendous job in revitalizing Jersey City and I’m proud to have his endorsement and support in this campaign,” said Congressman Payne. “Communities like Jersey City, Newark and others that make up the 10th District are full of hope and promise, but also struggles and challenges. It’s my mission to provide the federal resources and policies to help working class people in these cities thrive by lowering their costs for necessities like housing and health care while providing more economic opportunities, and I’m proud to partner with leaders like Mayor Fulop to make that happen.”
Elect Black Women PAC, an organization dedicated to supporting qualified, powerful Black women candidates at every level of government, announced today their endorsement of Imani Oakley for Congress in New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District.
“I am so honored and humbled by all of the endorsements for this race that I’ve received – we are truly building a movement for change here in NJ-10 – but this endorsement feels particularly personal,” said Oakley. “When I look at Elect Black Women’s work, and I see their commitment to building the political power of women like me – women who are most impacted by the racial inequity, violence, and injustice built into every facet of our country, and who have been so long left out of our national project – and it fills me with hope.”
Oakley is a political organizer and a proud graduate of Howard University School of Law — the oldest HBCU law school in the United States. She is running for Congress in New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District on a platform that includes environmental justice, reproductive freedom, investment in public schools, Medicare for All, comprehensive immigration reform, and international human rights.
“Every single issue that I fight for disproportionately affects women and disproportionately affects people of color, with Black women sitting at the heart of this intersection and taking the brunt of so many of these injustices,” Oakley said. “As Congresswoman, I will fight to right these injustices and create a healthier, more just NJ-10.”
Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., (D-Newark) is announcing his first endorsement from a national progressive advocacy group, as Planned Parenthood Action Fund backs the veteran Democrat. With womens’ reproductive rights under attack throughout the country, Congressman Payne is more proud than ever of his record supporting equal access to the essential health services that Planned Parenthood provides.
“Congressman Payne has demonstrated strong support for sexual and reproductive health and rights, and we feel confident that he will continue to be a dedicated advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers and the people they serve,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “Now more than ever, we need allies in Washington who will fight for reproductive freedom, and we know that Congressman Payne will always be that champion.”
In the midst of Republican attacks on reproductive rights that are playing out across the country Congressman Payne was a strong supporter of the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation that would make abortion legal and accessible to all women nationwide. The bill narrowly passed the House with every Republican voting in opposition and is expected to be voted on in the Senate soon. Congressman Payne has also fought hard to ensure that womens’ health care decisions are made by them in consultation with their doctors, speaking at a Planned Parenthood roundtable opposing the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule.
“No one other than a woman should be able to make decisions when it comes to their health care and their bodies, and that’s exactly why I voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act – groundbreaking, much-needed legislation that passed the House and that the Senate must step up and pass now,” said Congressman Payne. “It’s an honor to earn the support of Planned Parenthood Action Fund as a recognition of my staunch opposition to Republican attempts to take away womens’ hard earned rights. Now more than ever, we need to stand together on this critical issue and I thank Planned Parenthood Action Fund for their trust in my leadership.”
U.S. Representative Donald Payne, Jr., won the endorsement of the Retail, Wholesale & Department Store (RWDSU) Union Local 108. Made up of retail workers in clothing stores, jewelry stores, automotive service, parts and accessory stores, supermarkets, warehouses, manufacturing, and also in the public sector, RWDSU Local 108 represents over 5,000 members in New Jersey and surrounding states.
“Congressman Payne understands the struggles that working class people face and he knows what kind of solutions we need from Washington to support our members, which is why we are glad to offer him our support now,” said Charles Hall, RWDSU Local 108 President. “As a sponsor of the PRO Act, a leader with a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO and a former union member and blue collar worker himself, it’s clear to us that Congressman Payne is by far the best choice to advocate for working families.”
With among the strongest records on labor issues in the House of Representatives, Congressman Payne can always be counted on to deliver for working families. He is a sponsor of the PRO Act which would remove barriers to union organizing and help more workers join a union, as well as the Raise the Wage Act which raises the minimum wage to $15/hour indexed to inflation.
“The hardworking men and women of RWDSU Local 108 are some of the essential workers that we have all leaned on throughout the pandemic, and they deserve not just our thanks and respect, but also our support for policies that will put more money in their pockets, better benefits in their contracts and more peace of mind in their families,” said Congressman Payne. “I’m thankful to Local 108 President Charles Hall and the entire union for their support and I pledge to always be someone that working families can count on.”
11th Congressional District
Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill and the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters announced the endorsement of Congresswoman Sherrill’s re-election campaign by the union.
“Supporting the creation of good-paying jobs through investment in infrastructure and the protection of union apprenticeships have been cornerstones of Congresswoman Sherrill’s leadership in New Jersey. The working men and women of New Jersey need this continued advocacy in Washington D.C.,” said William C. Sproule, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, “The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to announce we stand behind the Congresswoman’s re-election and are committed to working together to better the lives of New Jersey workers.”
“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters,” said Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. “Protecting the right to unionize and investing in workers is critical to New Jersey’s future. I have proudly stood with our men and women in labor to fight for strong apprenticeships, increased workplace safety, and protections against wage theft, and will continue that work to ensure our union families are strong.”
The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters represents close to 13,000 carpenters in New Jersey alone. The Union has been a strong advocate for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, protecting union apprenticeship programs, and the need for more enforcement when it comes to construction industry tax fraud issues including wage theft, worker misclassification, and payroll fraud.
“New Jersey workers are ready to construct the jobs that Congresswoman Sherrill has fought for including long-delayed Gateway Project which will put thousands of people to work,” said Assistant Executive Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Abrantes, “For years we have heard promises of investment in infrastructure and opportunities for working-class families in New Jersey. Congresswoman Sherrill has been an impactful legislator that does not just talk the talk, but takes action to support the workers we at the Union are proud to represent.”
Hillery Brotschol, the young screenwriter who had spent most of 2021 pursuing the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district, has endorsed Robert Kovic for the chance to take on Rep. Mikie Sherrill.
“On my campaign website I said, ‘I’m tired of the wokeness, political correctness, and cancel culture that’s taken America by storm,’” Brotschol stated, “I went on to say, ‘I’m flipping the script on cancel culture’ and asked folks to join me. I’m proud to be joined by Rob Kovic in that quest.”
Brotschol ended her congressional race on January 28.
Five other candidates are seeking party support to take on Sherrill: Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen; former Kinnelon Council President Larry Casha; former assistant Passaic County Prosecutor Paul DeGroot; attorney Larry Friscia; and U.S. Army veteran Toby Anderson.
Kovic is a former Ridgefield Park councilman who now lives in Sussex County.
“After withdrawing from the congressional primary, I have met with and gotten to know Rob Kovic. What I learned is we share the same values and want to end cancel culture. I am happy to endorse Rob Kovic for Congress,” Brotschol said. “Not only do I endorse Rob, I also look forward to nominating him at the upcoming Republican convention.”
“Hillery Brotschol conducted her campaign with class and dignity,” said Kovic. “I’m honored to have earned her endorsement and look forward to her nominating me at the party’s convention. I’m glad to have Hillery on the team.”
Congressional candidate Paul DeGroot of Montville is calling of Rep Mikie Sherrill to give back the $2,700 campaign donation she received from lobbyists working to gain support in Congress for the Russia natural gas pipeline knows as Nord Stream 2.
DeGroot noted that: “Liberal Democrat Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (CD-11) has been muted in her response to the atrocities occurring in the Ukraine. Why is she not more forceful in denouncing Putin’s atrocities and demanding more lethal aid to the Ukrainians?”
One factor, said DeGroot, may be that she helped embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin by supporting Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, while she also sat silent as President Biden shut down the Keystone Pipeline in America – which made America more dependent on foreign oil and gas. In 2021, the U.S. imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and 500,000 bpd of other petroleum products from Russia according to the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.
“Rep Sherrill weakened America and strengthened Russia,” said DeGroot.
Roberti Global has reported earning more than $9 million in lobbying revenues from Nord Stream 2 AG since 2017, according to disclosure filings. Vin Roberti, a Democrat was an unofficial adviser to President Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign. Roberti salted Congress with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign. Rep. Sherrill took at least $2,700 from Roberti on behalf of the pipeline builders according to the website Open Secrets
“I am calling on Rep Sherrill to give back the money she took from the Nord Stream 2 lobbyist and explain why she would support Putin’s pipeline and not America’s?” said DeGroot.
Assemblywoman Shanique Speight of the 29th Legislative District is officially endorsing Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and his team in the upcoming municipal election on May 10.
“As a member of the New Jersey State Legislature, it’s truly an honor to endorse Newark Mayor Ras Baraka for re-election. When I’m in Trenton fighting for the residents of the 29th Legislative District, its good to have a friend and an exceptional leader on the local level as I bring back resources to the City of Newark and my district. Newark continues to move forward because of great partnerships in our state as Mayor Baraka continues to advocate for his city.
Please join me on May 10th, 2022 to vote for Mayor Baraka and the entire Team Baraka backed council candidates. It’s all about working together to move Newark forward and it’s important Mayor Baraka has the right team in place to get things done.
Chairwoman Amy DeGise and the Hudson County Democratic Organization are endorsing Sheriff Frank Schillari for re-election. A lifelong resident of Hudson County, retired police sergeant and U.S. Navy veteran, Sheriff Schillari is running for an unprecedented fifth consecutive term to continue to serve and protect the residents of Hudson County.
“Frank Schillari has proven to be a truly effective and dedicated Sheriff for Hudson County,” said HCDO Chair Amy DeGise. “Under Sheriff Schillari’s leadership, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office has invested in innovative 21st century policing to keep our communities safe and ensure accountability within our law enforcement system. He has a proven track record of public service as a veteran and police officer, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with him to protect our communities.”
Over the course of his tenure Sheriff Schillari has overseen the second largest law enforcement organization in Hudson County, managing more than 300 personnel. Schillari has made significant improvements to the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, improving capabilities of emergency vehicles, and working to prioritize the safety of all Hudson County residents and visitors. Some of his key accomplishments include moving to a 24/7 patrol schedule for county parks and roads to keep residents safe, growing the Crash Investigation Unit to make streets safer and fostering better partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and the community.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Hudson County Democrats,” said Sheriff Schillari. “Over the course of the last 12 years as Sheriff and 13 years previously as Undersheriff, I have worked closely with our elected officials and local, county, state and federal law enforcement with a mission of making Hudson County safer for people who live, work, study or travel here. I am excited to be running to continue to provide the highest quality service to our county.”
Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. kicked off his campaign for a fifth term, announcing his intentions in front of a large crowd of supporters that included Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz.
Councilman Ramos, who was first elected to the City Council in 2006, will run on the Team Baraka slate in the May 10 non-partisan municipal election.
“I am grateful and honored for the opportunity to serve this great city and its residents,” Councilman Ramos told the crowd gathered under a tent in the parking lot of his Little City Hall office on Bloomfield Avenue. “Newark afforded me with an opportunity to serve others for over 25 years.”
Mayor Baraka called Ramos “innovative and creative” and said he counts on Ramos’s independent thinking on difficult decisions facing the city.
“When you are making these decisions, you have to have people who love the community, who love the city and who have no other alternative motives, but to make sure Newark is great and that its families are doing well,” Mayor Baraka said. “Ramos has certainly been that person. I
I’m proud to stand here with him.”
State Sen. Ruiz, who has known Councilman Ramos since they started working in politics on opposing teams, said he embodies the classic American story.
“When you hear the story of his parents and his upbringing, it is the story of the next generation owning a home in the North Ward. It is the story of someone who’s never turned his back on what the truth of Newark is,” Ruiz said. “We all believe in this city, the same way our parents believed in it when they picked it to raise their families. It is the story of that same legacy to leave a better place for the next generation.”
County Executive DiVincenzo praised Ramos not only as an elected official, but also in his role as a member of the DiVincenzo administration. Ramos is the director of Essex County Department of Citizen Services.
“The reason he is such a great elected official is because he knows about all levels of government,” DiVincenzo said. “He knows how to help people and he does it each and every day. I couldn’t be more proud of this young man.”
Three longtime Bayonne residents, including the sitting school board president, will run for ward city council seats on a ticket with Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, completing a full slate as she seeks to unseat two-term Mayor Jimmy Davis is the May non-partisan municipal election.
In the First Ward, small business owner Julie Sanchez Lynch wants to unseat incumbent Neil Carroll III. Sanchez Lynch worked as a human resources executive before opening a Bayonne-based company that provides alternative methods to health and wellness and serves on the Bayonne Hometown Fair Committee.
George Vinc, a real estate and financial services executive, will seek the Second Ward seat. He’s a member of the Bayonne Sicilian Club and volunteered with the Project Hospitality Women’s Shelter and Food Bank of New York City.
Vinc will face Jacqueline Weimer, who got a slot on the Davis ticket after the mayor declined to back incumbent Sal Gullace for re-election.
Seeking the Third Ward seat is Bayonne Board of Education President Maria Valado. A two-term school board member, Valado has been a public school teacher in Newark for 25 years. She will face incumbent Gary La Pelusa, Sr.
“I believe running for office and serving as an elected official isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s about asking hard questions, making hard decisions, and being accountable,” said Valado. “Above all, it’s about doing the right thing because our community is worth it.”
Ashe-Nadrowski has previously announced that school board trustee Jodi Casais and Police Athletic League executive director KT Torello will run on her slate for city council at-large seats.
In a rare move, the local police union is making an endorsement for Belleville mayor, throwing its support behind Mayor Michael Melham for four more years of service.
The endorsement, posted to the Belleville PBA’s official social media channels read: “Belleville PBA Local #28 is proud to announce our support for Incumbent Mayor Michael Melham in his re-election campaign for Mayor of the Township of Belleville. Mayor Melham has time and time again shown his support for law enforcement and first responders through the Covid-19 Pandemic as well as the sweeping anti-police movement. He has shown his support by standing with Local #28 and our community.”
Melham is running for re-election on Tuesday, May 10 with his slate of candidates, Deputy Mayor Naomy DePeña and Councilman-at-large Tommy Graziano.
In receiving the endorsement, Melham said he was “extremely humbled, and absolutely thrilled, to have the support and official endorsement of the men and women of our fine Belleville Police Department.”
The endorsement is noteworthy because the Belleville PBA has not endorsed a candidate for local office in decades.
“That’s why Local 28 voluntarily stepping out with its official endorsement means so much, especially during these trying times,” Melham said. “This was not solicited, rather, it happened organically with the men and women of Local 28, knowing I’ve had their back, unconditionally for years. In return, they wanted to show me that they have my back in this upcoming May municipal election.”
The mayor added: “We seem to live in a world that’s upside down. Good is bad and bad is somehow good. These hard working men and women put their lives on the line, every single day, for us. Sadly, it has recently become all too popular to make them scapegoats, often by elected officials. Bureaucrats have been no better, creating legislation after legislating neutering law enforcement and perpetuating a culture of disrespect. This sickens to me.”