The New Jersey State AFL-CIO today announced endorsement decisions for State Senate District 1, the entire State Assembly, and a slate of 65 rank-and-file union members running for county and local offices across the state.
The 2019 election endorsements were announced during the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s Legislative/COPE Endorsement Conference at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. More than 500 delegates, representing 1,000 labor unions and the one-million members of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, participated in the endorsement process.
As voted on and approved by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Executive Board on June 10, 2019, the State Federation now retains the authority to conduct an ongoing review of endorsements based on their voting records and stances on key issues such as collective bargaining.
“After last year’s historic victory for working families, the labor movement will once again mobilize to secure across-the-board victories for pro-worker candidates and strengthen the voice of organized labor throughout New Jersey,” said Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “Now, more than ever, with the constant attacks on workers’ rights, it is crucial that we expand working family representation at all levels of government and elect leaders who support collective bargaining and the guiding principles of the labor movement.”
“This year’s endorsed candidates understand the challenges facing the middle class and will work to put the interests of New Jersey’s working families first,” Wowkanech added. “Together, with candidates who support our core values and our many affiliates, the New Jersey labor movement will continue to lead the way forward for the rest of the nation, promoting job creation, quality education, skills training, modernized infrastructure, affordable health care, and a sustainable and secure retirement future for all working families.”
The Legislative/COPE Endorsement Conference featured several distinguished keynote speakers, including Governor Phil Murphy, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (LD-19), Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (LD-20), United Food and Commercial Workers International President Marc Perrone, and AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council Executive Director William Attig.
Also speaking were Labor Candidates New Brunswick Councilman Kevin Egan, South Toms River Councilman Samuel Fennell, and Keyport Mayor Collette Kennedy. These speakers served as representatives of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Program—a strategic, long-range campaign to make government more worker-friendly. Since its inception in 1997, the program has helped union members achieve 1,031 election victories.
On Tuesday, June 11, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO held their 26th Annual Labor Awards Reception to honor outstanding leaders in government, business, and labor. This year’s honorees were Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10), Joseph Jingoli & Son, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Joseph Jingoli, Jr., and District 1199J National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees President Susan M. Cleary.