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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

Top progressive group endorses Menendez

Two-term Senator looks to be locking up Democratic base in a blue state

By David Wildstein, October 12 2018 5:38 pm

BlueWave NJ, a powerful grassroots organization associated with some of New Jersey’s most influential progressive organizations and coalitions, has endorsed Democrat Bob Menendez for re-election to the United States Senate.

The endorsement is important as Menendez seeks to excite the state’s substantial Democratic base in advance of next month’s mid-term elections.  Blue Wave NJ brings Menendez closer to his goal of securing a third term through increased turnout of New Jersey’s 921,531 edge in Democratic voter registration.

“Now more than ever, we need Menendez’s experience, intelligence and prodigious knowledge in the Senate,” said BlueWave NJ President Marcia Marley.

Recent polls have shown that Menendez has not yet secured the support of the full Democratic base.  A Quinnipiac University poll shows Menendez with 93% of the Democratic vote, but with a 64%-25% approval rating among Democrats.

Democrats have not lost a U.S. Senate race in New Jersey in 46 years, and Menendez’s chances of re-election – right now he’s locked in a close race with Republican self-funder Bob Hugin – increase substantially if the Democratic base is engaged on his behalf.

“Throughout his public career, Senator Menendez has been a consistent and productive voice for values and policies that promote equity and protect human rights,” said Marley.  “He is one of the strongest supporters of women rights in Congress; reintroducing the equal rights amendment year after year and cosponsoring equal pay legislation; efforts recognized with a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood.”

Marley pointed to some of Menendez’s accomplishments as an opponent of President Donald Trump and as a “champion for inclusion and justice.”

She cited Menendez’s leadership on expanding the Voting Rights act, reforming the criminal justice system, opposing Trump’s immigration policies, supporting the Keep Families Together Act and the REUNITE Act, and for sponsoring legislation to permanently ban drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

BlueWave NJ is affiliated with more than 30 key voter groups, many of whom don’t endorse candidates who play active roles in political campaigns: Moms Demand Action, NJ Million Mom March Brady Campaign, SEIU 32BJ, 1199 SEIU, NJEA, Communications Workers of America (CWA) NJ, Planned Parenthood, NOW NJ, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Sierra Club, NJ Working Families Alliance, NAACP New Jersey State Conference, Clean Water Action of NJ, Environment New Jersey, NJ 11th for Change, Black Lives Matter Morristown, Mobilizing Montclair, Wind of Spirit, Delaware RiverKeeper Network, Environmental Defense Fund, New Jersey Policy Perspective, Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, Action Together New Jersey, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ, and New Jersey Peace Action.

“We are running a true, grassroots campaign from the bottom up, relying on the passion and energy of real, everyday New Jerseyans who understand what’s at stake in this election and why it’s never mattered more,” said Menendez.  “I am grateful to have the strong support of BlueWave NJ, an organization that fights as hard as I do for the values we hold dear: access to quality, affordable health care; equal rights and justice; the ability to graduate from college without being under a mountain of debt; protecting the environment; and making sure our streets and neighborhoods are safe.  Together, we will fight to uphold New Jersey values, move our state forward and improve the lives of hardworking families.”

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