ATLANTIC CITY – The presence of Salem County GOP Chairman Fran Greiner in the LD3 senate race today produced little more than a shrug from Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), but the senate president’s allies say Greiner presents himself as probably the least likely individual to warrant the attention and affection of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).
“Somebody was going to run against me,” Sweeney told InsiderNJ as he stepped off the stage at Wednesday Transaction Conference after addressing a ballroom of 750 people.
Against the backdrop of Sweeney’s public wrangling with the state’s largest teachers’ union, Greiner expressed confidence of the NJEA’s endorsement. But allies of the senate president jeered at the bitter desperation of an organization that would go so far as to back a Donald J. Trump-loving, gun-toting Republican over the incumbent Democrat. Last week, Sweeney attended – by enthusiastic invitation – a conference sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers (NJ), which his allies burnished as proof that there’s not simply one teacher’s union in town.
“He’s a right winger,” one source noted of Greiner, underscoring what he sees as the absurdity of the organization’s aversion to Sweeney. There was also some high fiving in Sweeney world over the NJEA’s failure to dredge up a suitable Democrat to run against the senate president in a primary, and continuing push back against the notion that anyone in the caucus will be able to summon the votes to oust Sweeney from the senate president’s throne.