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Rep. Josh Gottheimer at the Dumont Police Station on January 10, 2021. (Photo: Rep. Josh Gottheimer).

Fraternal Order of Police backs Dems in most key congressional races

Van Drew, Kim, Gottheimer, Malinowski, Sherrill get union’s endorsement

By Joey Fox, September 21 2022 4:04 pm

The New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the state’s second-largest police union, today endorsed nine congressional candidates, among them six Democrats and three Republicans.

In the three districts that are considered the state’s most competitive, the FOP backed all three Democratic incumbents: Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in the 7th district, Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) in the 3rd district, and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in the 5th district.

The union also endorsed Democratic Reps. Donald Norcross (D-Camden), Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson), and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) as well as Republican Reps. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) and Chris Smith (R-Manchester).

The one non-incumbent endorsed by the FOP is Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley, who is running against Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) in a district that’s not widely regarded as competitive. Kiley’s husband and son are both police officers.

No endorsements were made in the state’s remaining three districts: Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark)’s 10th district, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing)’s 12th district, and the 8th district, where Port Authority Commissioner Rob Menendez is the Democratic nominee.

In 2020, the FOP made a similar set of endorsements, backing Van Drew, Kim, Gottheimer, Malinowski, and Sherrill in their competitive re-election contests. That same year, the union also endorsed then-President Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Cory Booker for re-election.

Last year, it chose to not make an endorsement in the gubernatorial race, snubbing Gov. Phil Murphy after supporting him four years earlier.

The FOP’s endorsements put them at odds with the New Jersey Policemen’s Benevolent Association, which endorsed Pallone over Kiley in the 6th district and former Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield) over Malinowski in the 7th district. Gottheimer is the only candidate who has so far received an endorsement from both major police unions.

This story was updated at 4:42 p.m. with additional information about the Policemen’s Benevolent Association’s endorsements.

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