TRENTON — The political arm of the state’s largest teachers union has endorsed eight Democrats and no Republicans for congressional and special state legislative elections this year.
The New Jersey Education Association’s political action committee announced Monday that they are backing U.S. Reps. Rob Andrews (D-1st Dist.), John Adler (D-3rd Dist.), Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.), Bill Pascrell (D-8th Dist.), Steve Rothman (D-9th Dist.), Donald Payne (D-10th Dist.) and Rush Holt (D-11th Dist). The group, which pegs its membership at 200,000, also endorsed Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Middlesex), who is running against state Sen. Tom Goodwin (R-Mercer) in a special election in the 14th Legislative District.
Although the union typically endorses more Democrats, they usually support some members of the GOP. In 2008, they backed U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd Dist.). This year, they made no endorsements in their districts. Smith did not screen this year, NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer said, though LoBiondo did.
The group did decline to endorse some Democrats. In the 7th Congressional District, they made no endorsement, even though Democrat Ed Potosnak, a former science teacher at Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, is running against freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance.
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“As a teacher, I never took my voting cues from them, and I leave it up to teachers of the 7th District to decide who will represent them in Congress,” Potosnak said in a statement.
NJEA spokesman Steve Wollmer said the PAC may decide to endorse more candidates later on, including in the 7th District.
“I think there may be further discussion on that one,” he said. “A lot of things come into consideration, not just whether you’re an NJEA member… Some of that gets subjective because you also have to assess a non-incumbent’s electability.”
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