The New Jersey Educations Association’s 125-member political action committee (NJEA PAC) voted to endorse 59 candidates for election to the New Jersey General Assembly in the upcoming November election.
The endorsements dissed South Jersey Democrats (who are locked in a war with the public sector union-friendly Governor Phil Murphy), and leaned Republican in some key battle
grounds (including LD8, LD21 and LD25 (a split endorsement), see below).
“NJEA members have seen the profound impact that political decisions have on their lives and on the lives of their students,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “NJEA members have always been active participants in the political process, because we care about our profession and our students. As the burden of Ch. 78 and the lack of job justice for educational support professionals (ESP) make clear, it is more important than ever that we elect candidates who share our priorities and values.”
“On Nov. 5, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard and ensure that the people we elect to represent us in the Assembly share our commitment to excellent public schools for students and dignity and economic justice for school employees,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “Our members have taken the time to study the issues and meet with the candidates. They have endorsed candidates they feel will be the best advocates for our members and the students we serve.”
“With these endorsements, NJEA is making a commitment to electing these pro-public education candidates,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty. “We know the power of collective action, and we will be working alongside these candidates to help educate voters about the choices they have before them.”
For the November 2019 general election, the NJEA PAC Operating Committee has endorsed:
- LD 8 Ryan Peters (R) (pictured, top) and Jean Stanfield (R)
- LD 9 Sara (Sally) J. Collins (D)
- LD 10 Erin Wheeler (D) and Eileen Della Volle (D)
- LD 11 Eric Houghtaling (D) and Joann Downey (D)
- LD 12 Ronald Dancer (R) and Robert Clifton (R)
- LD 13 Serena DiMaso (R) and Barbara Singer (D)* and Gerard Scharfenberger (R)*
- LD 14 Wayne DeAngelo (D) and Daniel Benson (D)
- LD 15 Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D) and Anthony Verrelli (D)
- LD 16 Andrew Zwicker (D) and Roy Freiman (D)
- LD 17 Joseph Danielsen (D)
- LD 18 Robert Karabinchak (D) and Nancy Pinkin (D)
- LD 19 Craig Coughlin (D) and Yvonne Lopez (D)
- LD 20 Jamel C. Holley (D) and Annette Quijano (D)
- LD 21 Jon Bramnick (R) and Nancy Munoz (R)
- LD 22 James Kennedy (D) and Linda Carter (D)
- LD 24 Deana Lykins (D)
- LD 25 Anthony M. Bucco (R) and Lisa Bhimani (D)
- LD 26 BettyLou DeCroce (R) and Christine Clark (D)
- LD 27 John F. McKeon (D) and Mila M. Jasey (D)
- LD 28 Cleopatra Tucker (D) and Ralph Caputo (D)
- LD 30 Sean T. Kean (R) and Edward H. Thomson (R)
- LD 31 Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D)
- LD 32 Angelica M. Jimenez (D) and Pedro Mejia (D)
- LD 33 Raj Mukherji (D) and Annette Chaparro (D)
- LD 34 Thomas Giblin (D) and Britnee N. Timberlake (D)
- LD 35 Shavonda Sumter (D) and Benjie Wimberly (D)
- LD 36 Gary Schaer (D) and Clinton Calabrese (D)
- LD 37 Gordon Johnson (D) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D)
- LD 38 Lisa Swain (D) and Christopher Tully (D)
- LD 39 Gerald Falotico (D) and John Birkner, Jr. (D)
- LD 40 Kevin Rooney (R) and Christopher P. DePhillips (R)
* Indicates “Your Choice.” Two or more screened candidates were deemed to be qualified for endorsement.
The NJEA PAC screening process begins with the establishment of screening committees for each legislative district. Each committee includes members of the NJEA PAC Operating Committee who represent their respective counties, the New Jersey Retirees’ Education Association (NJREA) legislative county chairperson and other local leaders in the legislative district.
Screening committees invite candidates for an interview in the summer. Prior to meeting the candidates, the committee reviews completed NJEA questionnaires submitted by the candidates and, if they are incumbents, their voting record. Without a questionnaire or an interview, the screening committee cannot recommend a candidate for an endorsement.
The screening committee makes its recommendations to the NJEA PAC Operating Committee, which consists of members of the NJEA Executive Committee; the Government Relations Committee; the Congressional Contact Committee; the County Association Presidents; the President of Preservice NJEA; three NJEA active support members; and representatives from NJREA: the Legislative Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and three Legislative Regional Coordinators. The NJEA PAC Operating Committee debates the recommendations and makes a final determination for endorsements.
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The New Jersey Education Association represents more than 200,000 teachers, certificated staff, educational support professionals, and retired and student members. NJEA’s mission is to advance and protect the rights, benefits, and interests of members, and promote a quality system of public system of public education for all students.