A fundraiser for Rep. Donald Norcross headlined by U.S. Senator Cory Booker, Gov. Phil Murphy, former Gov. Jim Florio and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought in roughly $1.75 million, according to a campaign staff source.
The $2,800-a-head event was followed by a rally featuring the big-ticket Democrats.
“When I need help on the other side of the capitol for raising the minimum wage, for protecting retirement security, for making sure that working conditions are not so perverse that sexual harassment reigns in the workplace like we see in corporations like the McDonald’s, the champion of workers’ rights in the House that I turn to is Donald Norcross.” Booker said.
President Donald Trump’s name frequently came up during the rally, which lasted for roughly an hour.
Booker, Norcross and Murphy each attacked Trump and members of his administration, with Booker lending specific focus to Attorney General William Barr and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
“Nothing compares to this. When we say god bless America, what are we talking about in America? we’re talking about America, our constitution, our rights, our liberties, our republic, our separation of power,” Pelosi told the crowd of about 900. “They are dishonoring our constitution.”
A relatively small group of Trump supporters—numbering roughly 100—protested outside the event, though they were separated from the rally attendance and did little more than shout and wave flags from a distance, though one heckler made it into the event before being escorted out.
During his speech, Norcross repeated his endorsement for Murphy’s re-election.
The move is significant because of an ongoing feud between Murphy and allies of South Jersey powerbroker George Norcross, the congressman’s brother.
That feud has so far not pushed Rep. Norcross away from the governor.
They’ve now traded endorsements, and the congressman gave a shoutout to New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan, whose organization spent millions in a bid to oust Senate President Steve Sweeney, a close Norcross ally, in 2017.
On top of praise for his fellow dignitaries, Murphy urged the rally’s attendees to re-elect House Democrats.
“I’ve been governor for just over two years … I had one year where the speaker was the leader and one year when she was the speaker,” Murphy said. “The difference between being in the minority and the attack by the Trump administration and the Republican then-controlled House and Senate on New Jersey was almost unbearable.”
Norcross’s seat isn’t at play.
He won re-election by more than 30 points last year and has one of the state’s most powerful Democratic county organizations at his back.
“We understand being progressive is a good bet,” Norcross said. “We understand looking forward and understanding that we’re all in this together.”