An emailed statement today from the FMBA’s Eddie Donnelly, who mulled and moved on a 21st Legislative District (currently the domain of retiring state Senator Tom Kean, Jr., R-21) candidacy for the Democrats:
Today, I am withdrawing my candidacy for NJ State Senate. I am thankful and grateful for the support I received from so many of you. In just three short weeks, our membership, family and friends donated $100,000 and committed their full support for my run for Senate. I am thankful for the generous donations I received, all of which will be returned.
I hoped that by joining other union leaders currently serving in the state legislature, my experience as a firefighter and the NJ FMBA President would benefit both our membership and the citizens of Legislative District 21.Winning against a seasoned elected official in a tough district would take all hands on deck rowing in the same direction. While there is a path to victory, some of the decision makers could not see beyond our union’s past endorsements of Republicans, and see me as a lifelong Democrat. The NJ FMBA prides itself on making decisions that are in the best interest of first responders and our membership makes educated decisions on who they feel will best represent our values and I will not apologize for that.
This endeavor will be a memory I will not forget. I learned a lot over the past month. I will always be grateful to our friends who jumped in with both feet and believed in our vision. I will continue to advocate for our members while educating the public of the mission of our great union. I will continue to be a pitbull for the rights of first responders and we will continue to work with our governor and legislature to accomplish so much more for our members.
No one knows what the future holds. There may be a different time when decision makers can recognize the viability of a strong union candidate for State Senate. In the meantime, leading our union continues to be my passion. I will continue our steadfast objective of providing the tools to our members to do the best job possible to keep our members and NJ residents safe. We are on the front lines for New Jersey and I could not be more proud to be the President of the NJ FMBA.
It was a short journey that I could not have started without the support of each of you. Thank you.