Home>Campaigns>N.J. AFL-CIO endorses all incumbents in congressional races, including Van Drew

Rep. Jeff Van Drew. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

N.J. AFL-CIO endorses all incumbents in congressional races, including Van Drew

Menendez, seeking his first term, also gains labor support

By David Wildstein, June 22 2022 10:49 am

All eleven incumbents in the state’s congressional delegation, including two Republicans, have been endorsed for re-election by the New Jersey AFL-CIO.

Democrat Robert J. Menendez, who is seeking the open seat of retiring Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York) in the 8th district, also received the labor endorsement.

The endorsement of Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) marks a return to the organized labor fold for the two-term South Jersey congressman.  The AFL-CIO had backed Van Drew in his races for the legislature and for Congress in 2018, but endorsed Amy Kennedy’s bid to unseat him two years ago following his switch to the Republican Party.

The move is a blow to Tim Alexander, the former prosecutor who has won the Democratic nomination to challenge Van Drew this year.

“These mid-term elections could prove to be the most consequential in our history,” said New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech. “The working family values held by our endorsed candidates reflect the potential we have to strengthen our country and invest in New Jersey. We want a Congress that will continue to get things done for our state and pass pro-worker legislation, such as the PRO Act.

The backing of the state AFL-CIO comes with boots on the ground when it comes to turning out votes in the general election  That support boosts the re-election campaign of the state’s potentially vulnerable incumbents: Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) and Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair).

Smith, who is seeking his 22nd term in Congress, has been a labor favorite for decades.

“Our endorsed candidates will ensure our state federation’s continued preeminent role as the voice of working families in New Jersey,” Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan stated. “We Look forward to the progress that we will continue to achieve together after a victory in November.”

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