Home>Campaigns>As expected, Laborers’ backs Benson for Mercer County Executive

Assemblyman Dan Benson. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

As expected, Laborers’ backs Benson for Mercer County Executive

By David Wildstein, January 12 2023 3:08 pm

The  Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) has endorsed Dan Benson for the Democratic nomination for Mercer County Executive.

The endorsement, which was first reported by the New Jersey Globe on Monday, is the first big labor endorsement for Benson, an assemblyman from Hamilton who is challenging five-term incumbent Brian Hughes in the Democratic primary.

“Dan Benson understands that we must do a better job of creating jobs and supporting Mercer County families. He has demonstrated as chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee a willingness to listen, consider, and most importantly, lead,” said Michael Hellstrom, the vice president and eastern regional manager of the politically powerful union.  “ LIUNA’s endorsement of Dan Benson for Mercer County Executive is a based on our respect for all that he has done and our confidence for what he will do in the future.”

Benson said his administration “will look beyond business as usual and towards new ideas and better service.”

“Mercer County is better when we work together—government, the private sector, non-profits, higher education, everybody,” he said.

This is Hellstrom’s first New Jersey endorsement since taking over for the venerable Raymond Pocino, an influential force in New Jersey politics for decades prior to his recent retirement.

The LIUNA endorsement follows endorsements of Hughes by nine other building trades unions.

“Mercer County has close to 200 miles of county roadway, a 7,000-student county college, public buildings, parks, and a public airport,” Hellstrom stated.  “All that infrastructure must be maintained and modernized in a responsive and fiscally responsible manner, yet opportunities are lost to connect the skilled local workforce of Mercer County to public investment.”

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