Gov. Phil Murphy has been endorsed by Environment New Jersey, one of the state’s leading environmental advocacy organizations, in his bid to win re-election to a second term.
Endorsements also went to 13 candidates for the legislature – a more selective, trophy endorsement process that resulted in support of the top 10% of legislative candidates across the state – and to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
“New Jersey needs a governor who will reflect the environmental values of our state, understands the urgency of climate change and make New Jersey a national environmental leader on climate and clean energy policy,” said Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “Gov. Murphy’s environmental record makes him the clear choice for voters this fall. We need a governor who works to protect our air and water and fights to tackle climate change and builds a clean energy economy that doesn’t sacrifice our natural lands. We are proud to support Gov. Murphy to ensure we protect New Jersey’s natural treasures.”
In Senate races, endorsements went to three incumbents – Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch), Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) and Bob Smith (D-Piscataway), the longtime chairman of the Senate Environment Committee – to two Democrats seeking to flip Republican Senate seats – Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) in the 2nd district and Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick) in the 16th –and to Democrat Christine Clarke, an environmental activist who is running against Senate Minority Whip Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville).
Six Assembly incumbents also received the backing of Environment New Jersey: Dan Benson (D-Hamilton), Clinton Calabrese (D-Cliffside Park), Rob Clifton (R-Matawan), Mila Jasey (D-South Orange), John McKeon (D-West Orange), and Assembly Environment Committee Chairman James Kennedy (D-Rahway). Clifton is the lone Republican to snag an Environment New Jersey endorsement.
One challenger: Karlito Almeda, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, was endorsed in his bid to unseat incumbents Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) and DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River) in the 39th district Assembly contest.
“These leaders are environmental champions in the Legislature,” O’Malley said. “They have fought for the environment and worked to advocate for a green agenda. Although they face spirited challenges, they have not shied away from standing up for clean air and water, open spaces and clean energy. We need their continued leadership more than ever because we need legislators who put the environment first.”
Fulop, who is seeking his third term as mayor of the state’s second-largest city, was recognized as an advocate for local environmental protection and clean energy – and for his strong support of environmental protection at Liberty State Park.
The group, which has over 20,000 dues-paying members and more than 60,000 supporters, said it will launch a voter turnout and education program to reach New Jersey voters concerned about environmental issues.
In the governor’s race, Environment New Jersey praised Murphy for assembling a strong environmental record over his first four years despite entering office on the heels of “the era of environmental rollbacks during the Christie Administration.”
The group pointed to Murphy’s support of a bill to mandate more than 300,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025, an initial veto of legislation that would have pre-empted the ban of single-use plastic, developing an bold offshore wind energy plan, revitalizing litigation to hold polluters accountable, opposition to the Penn East pipeline, and supporting a full ban on fracking.
“We urge voters who care about the environment not to sit this election out,” said O’Malley. “Environmentally-minded voters state-wide and in key districts should know how critical their vote is this year and why these legislators should be re-elected to stand up for our air and water. This year, your vote will count – stand up for the environment inside the voting booth and on your ballot.”