Backing Murphy on Sullivan Pick, Ballantyne Says ‘Mullen Does Not Speak for All the Trades’

Despite a union brother’s objections, powerful Northeast Regional Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer John Ballantyne today told InsiderNJ that he supports Gov. Phil Murphy’s choice of Tim Sullivan to head the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA).

On Friday, InsiderNJ wrote this story about Building Trades President Bill Mullen’s opposition to Sullivan and his efforts to prevail on lawmakers to resist the pick, citing Sullivan’s labor record.

But Ballantyne disagrees, focusing on what he said is Murphy’s support for labor.

“The governor’s been a very honorable person to work with, and I put my full trust in him,” Ballantyne said. “I do appreciate Billy Mullen’s leadership, but he does not speak for all the trades.

“Governor Murphy has made a full commitment to union labor and to a stronger, fairer economy and jobs,” the labor leader added.

Ballantyne has been in touch with the governor’s office since Mullen issued his letter last week.

“This did not really worry me,” he said of the Building Trades Prez’s objections to Sullivan. “Though I do appreciate Billy’s leadership, between the labor support we have from the governor, senate president, and speaker, there will not be an attack on prevailing wage in this state.”


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