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Sean M. Spiller. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Spiller unopposed for NJEA president, report says

Montclair mayor will succeed Blistan

By David Wildstein, March 25 2021 9:42 am

New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan is not seeking re-election a third term and Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller will assume the presidency of New Jersey’s largest public employee union, according to a report in the Montclair Local.

Spiller is the only candidate for a two-year term as president in their April 2021 election and is set to take office on September 1.

A close political ally of Gov. Phil Murphy, he’ll take over the union two months before Murphy faces voters in his bid for a second term.

Elected mayor in 2020 after serving as a councilman, Spiller became NJEA vice president in 2017 after a four-year stint as secretary-treasurer.

Steve Beatty, the current secretary-treasurer, is unopposed to follow Spiller as vice president.  That lets Beatty continue his trajectory to serving as NJEA president in the future.

Because of the tradition of moving up the ladder, there’s a three-way for secretary-treasurer between Petal Robertson, Brenda Brathwaite and Denise King, the Montclair Local reported.

The winner could wind up as NJEA president in 2029, if the union continues a leadership rotation every four years.

Brathwaite was the Democratic candidate for Atlantic County freeholder in 2015 and 2017.

Robertson is the president of the Montclair Education Association and King is the president of both the Monmouth County and Holmdel teacher’s unions.

This is King’s second campaign for secretary-treasurer.  She was defeated by Beatty in 2017.

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