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New Jersey State AFL-CIO Announces 2022 Endorsements For U.S. House and Labor Candidates for Elected Offices Throughout the State

Helen Ireland
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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Today, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO gathered with over 300 delegates and guests from affiliated unions at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for the labor organization’s 2022 Legislative/COPE Endorsement Conference. National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Governor Phil Murphy amped up the crowd, while renowned political analyst Charlie Cook provided his insight on the national political environment. In a democratic process, delegates voted on accepting congressional candidate endorsement recommendations from local union leadership, known as Central Labor Councils, as well as endorsements for union members who are running for local offices throughout the state.

Consideration for recommendation and endorsement is based on a candidate’s pro-labor record and their support for working family’s issues. For candidates, earning an endorsement from the body means being able to count on the state federation’s considerable political clout, recruiting union members for member-to-member walks and phonebanks, as well as providing digital and mail communications to encourage union members and their families to vote for labor-backed candidates.

Conference speakers also included Congressman Donald Norcross, Congressman Andy Kim, Assemblyman William Sampson, Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin Caba, Perth Amboy Councilwoman Rose Morales, Congressional candidate Robert Menendez (CD-8), members of UFCW Local 360 Cannabis Division, and Starbucks workers recently organized by Workers United.

“These mid-term elections could prove to be the most consequential in our history,” New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said. “The working family values held by our endorsed candidates reflect the potential we have to strengthen our country and invest in New Jersey. We want a Congress that will continue to get things done for our state and pass pro-worker legislation, such as the PRO Act. We look forward to supporting our labor candidates and political partners as we rise up to fight for good jobs, a better standard of living for all workers, stronger voting rights, and to ensure the health and safety of all.”

“Our endorsed candidates will ensure our state federation’s continued preeminent role as the voice of working families in New Jersey,” said Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan. “We Look forward to the progress that we will continue to achieve together after a victory in November.”

The conference also included the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s 28th Annual Labor Awards Reception held the evening of Tuesday, June 21st. The reception honors outstanding leaders in government, business and labor, reinforcing the need for all New Jersey Stakeholders to come together in support of working families throughout our state. This year’s honorees were National AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and the Vice President of Labor Relations at Bimbo Bakeries USA, Phil Paturzo.

The list of endorsements for Congress is:

District 1
*Donald Norcross (D-01)

District 5
*Josh Gottheimer (D-05)

District 9
*Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-09)

District 2
*Jeff Van Drew (R-02)

District 6
*Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-06)

District 10
*Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10)

District 3
*Andy Kim (D-03)

District 7
*Tom Malinowski (D-07)

District 11
*Mikie Sherrill (D-11)

District 4
*Chris Smith (R-04)

District 8
Robert Menendez (D-08)

District 12
*Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12)

*  Indicates Incumbent



The list of Labor Candidates is:

Name                                        Union                                Office Sought
Vince Sera*                              AFSCME 1210                 Brigantine Mayor
Dolores Whitko                        AFSCME 1199J               Closter Mayor
Hailey Cruz                              AFT 857                           Perth Amboy Council
Tony DePrince*                       AFT 4907                         Magnolia Council
Cynthia Simon                         AFT 2222/1796                Wayne Board of Education
John F. Capo*                          BAC 4                              Totowa Council
Jason Allen*                            CWA 1033                        Pemberton Committee
Taiwanda Terry-Wilson           CWA 1033                        Trenton Council
Mark Kruszczynski                 CWA 1036                        North Plainfield Board of Education
Karol Ruiz                               CWA 1037                        Dover Alderman
Tassie York*                            CWA 1037                        Neptune Committee
Cathleen Lewis                        CWA 1037                        Mercer County Commissioner
Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg      CWA 1038                        Trenton Council
Nelson Carney, Jr.                    CWA 1085                        Salem County Commissioner
Joseph Hiles*                           CWA 1085                        Woodstown Council
Charles Hassler                        IBEW 94                           Salem County Commissioner
Thomas Sullivan, Jr.*              IBEW 164                         Bergen County Commissioner
Bert Steinmann*                      IBEW 269                         Ewing Mayor
Ryan Doran*                            IBEW 351                         Cherry Hill Fire Commissioner
Donald Norcross*                    IBEW 351                         CD 1 U.S. House of Representatives
Mike Beach                              IBEW 351                         Incumbent Barrington Council

Mike Vizzard*                         IBEW 351                         Commercial Township Committee
Kyle Miller                              IBEW 351                         Woodbury Mayor
Kevin Egan*                            IBEW 456                         New Brunswick City Council
Michael Riordan*                    IBEW 827                         Brigantine Council
Thomas Lyon*                         IBT 676                             Delran Council
Pat Lepore*                              IBT 802                            Passaic County Commissioner
Donald Heverly                        Ironworkers 399              Williamstown Council
Walt Lenkowski                       Ironworkers 399               Lindenwald Council
Michael McGlynn*                  IUOE 68                           Fairfield Council
Nick Civitan*                           IUOE 825                         Frankford Council
Ed Kalinowski                         IUOE 825                         Deptford Board of Education
Victoria Pacheco                      IUOE District 1, JNESO  Keyport Mayor
Rob Lane, Jr.*                          IUPAT 694                        Neptune Committee
Ed White                                  LIUNA 172                       Runnemede Mayor
David Bander*                         SEIU 1199NJ                    Plainsboro Committee
Roshan White*                         UA 24                               Scotch Plains Council
Concetto Formica                     UBC 253                          Franklin Boro Council
Kevin Goodsir                          UBC 253                          West Milford Council
Ron Skirkanish                         UBC 254                          Manville Council
Joe Scaletti*                             UBC 254                          South Brunswick Board of Education
Dane Lamcken*                       UBC 255                          Estell Manor Council
Michael Porretta*                     UBC 255                          Folsom Council
Andrew Bulakowski                 UBC 255                          Cape May Commissioner
Matthew Cox*                          UBC 441                          Dennis Township Committee
Matt Kane                                 UFCW 152                      Corbin City Mayor
Nereyda Curiel*                       UFCW 360                       Haledon Council