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Rep. Bill Pascrell. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

NJEA backs Pascrell

By David Wildstein, May 18 2020 1:08 pm

The New Jersey Education Association has endorsed Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) for re-election to a 13th term in Congress.

“A former teacher himself, Bill Pascrell’s commitment to educators runs deep,” said Marie Blistan, the NJEA president. “Over decades of service, Bill has consistently supported public school educators and worked to strengthen our public schools.”

Pascrell faces challenges from the left in the Democratic primary from clean energy investor Zina Spezakis and attorney Alp Basaran.  The state’s largest public employee union is a significant factor in the progressive wing of the New Jersey Democratic Party, and their endorsement will help block access to the votes of public school teachers in the 9th district.

“As our state begins to reopen and we continue to navigate these challenging times, we need leaders dedicated to ensuring that our schools will be secure for students and staff and will have the resources they need to safely and effectively educate New Jersey’s children,” Blistan said. “We know that Bill is ready to answer that call.”

Pascrell praised teachers as “the pillars that hold up our communities.”

“New Jersey remains one of the most desirable places to live in the entire United States in large part because of our exemplary schools and brilliant teachers. There is no class of teachers and instructors anywhere in this country that can match the teachers in our state, and I am honored to know I have their support and trust,” the congressman said.  “As we envision an end to this difficult time and start to plan the next school year, one of my absolute top priorities will be guaranteeing a school environment that protects both our children and our teachers and school staff.”

Pascrell defeated Democratic primary challenger William O. Henry by 19,454 votes, 86%-14%, in 2018.

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