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3rd district Republican nominee Bob Healey Jr. (Photo: Joey Fox for the New Jersey Globe).

Policemen’s Benevolent Association backs Healey over Kim

PBA has broken repeatedly with FOP this cycle

By Joey Fox, September 27 2022 12:15 pm

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), the state’s largest police union, today announced its endorsement of Republican congressional candidate Bob Healey Jr., who is running to unseat Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown) in the state’s 3rd district.

“Your strong commitment to support law enforcement in Washington and stand against efforts to weaken it has earned our support,” PBA President Pat Colligan said in a letter to Healey. “We know you will go to DC and reject efforts to punish cops instead of criminals while fighting for the resources that the departments in your district need.”

The endorsement is the PBA’s fourth of the cycle. Over the last two months, the union has endorsed Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) and Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) as well as former State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield), the Republican nominee against Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes).

Curiously, three of those four endorsements have conflicted with those of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), New Jersey’s second largest police union and another important political player. The FOP backed Malinowski and Kim over their Republican opponents, as well as Republican Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley against Pallone. (Gottheimer is the lone candidate so far this cycle to have received endorsements from both unions.)

Healey faces a tough matchup against Kim, who first beat Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-Toms River) in 2018 and who saw his district get dramatically bluer under the state’s new congressional map. Unlike several other underdog candidates, however, Healey has the resources to run ads and broadcast his message, and national Republicans have shown serious interest in his campaign.

Kim, running for his third term this year, has never received the PBA’s endorsement in any of his victorious campaigns; the union backed MacArthur in 2018 and David Richter in 2020.

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