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Gov. Phil Murphy delivers his 2023 budget address on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Murphy endorses Payne for re-election

Support from New Jersey governor limits opportunities for any real progressive challenge

By David Wildstein, March 15 2022 9:11 am

Gov. Phil Murphy has endorsed Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey’s 10th district, a move that limits any oxygen for a  Democratic primary challenger claiming Payne is not progressive enough.

“Congressman Payne is a fighter for working families who stands up for our communities every day,” Murphy said.  “He’s never failed to deliver – from helping create 400,000 middle-class, union jobs at major infrastructure projects, to ensuring that lifesaving cancer screenings are covered by Medicare, to providing funding to remove lead pipes from homes in our cities, to protecting a woman’s right to choose, to supporting much-needed funding for COVID-19 response and Hurricane Ida recovery and much more.”

Payne has already secured support from the state’s two U.S. Senators, Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, as well as Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, and the Democratic mayors of Newark, Jersey, City, East Orange and Hillside.  He’s also running the table on labor union endorsements and has the backing of former state CWA director Hetty Rosenstein.  It’s improbably that any candidate could effectively claim any sort of progressive banner without help from the NJEA, CWA, AFSCME or Rosenstein.

“A lifelong Newark resident, Congressman Payne understands the challenges that our urban communities face and is absolutely the right leader to continue delivering the resources we need to keep our neighborhoods safe, create more good-paying job opportunities, and protect our rights and our values,” Murphy said.

Payne faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from Akil Khalfani, a sociology professor at Essex County College, and mountebank vagabond Imani Oakley.

“Governor Murphy is a champion for New Jersey’s working families, delivering on issues like raising the minimum wage, protecting workers’ rights, expanding health care coverage and always getting the job done here in New Jersey, stated Payne.  “I’m proud to have Governor Murphy’s support and to call him a friend and a partner.  Together, we will keep fighting for the people of the 10th district.”

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