Gov. Phil Murphy attended a groundbreaking for a new $31.5 million New Jersey Transit train station in Lyndhurst, giving him a political benefit in a South Bergen municipality that is a must-win for Republican Jack Ciattarelli.
A blue collar township of roughly 20,000 people, Lyndhurst is exactly the kind of swing town Ciattarelli needs to carry if he is to take out Murphy in the November general election.
Donald Trump carried Lyndhurst by 68 votes in 2020, but Democrat Cory Booker also won the township by 451. The township went for Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) by 702 votes.
In the 2020 race for Bergen County Freeholder, Lyndhurst voted split their ticket. Incumbent Joan Voss, a Democrat, was in first place by 242 votes, but Republican Simone Signounis finished second. Just 28 votes separated her from Democrat Ramon Hache.
In the 2018 U.S. Senate race, Republican Bob Hugin won Lyndhurst by 14 votes over incumbent Bob Menendez.
Murphy won Lyndhurst by 335 votes in 2017 when he ran against Republican Kim Guadagno; in the same election, Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo carried Lyndhurst by 629 votes.
Trump’s plurality in Lyndhurst in 2016 was 589 against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The cost of the new train station is largely – 98% of it — being picked up by the Federal Transit Administration.
“When this station is completed, residents of Lyndhurst and the surrounding area will have a brand-new, ADA-accessible facility that will benefit them for generations to come,” Murphy said. “Our public transit infrastructure is a priority, and we will continue to invest in it and modernize mass transit across New Jersey.”
Mayor Robert Giangeruso, who is up for re-election in the May 11 non-partisan municipal election, spoke at the groundbreaking and also gets a possible electoral boon from today’s announcement.
Pascrell, Sarlo and Assemblymen Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) and Clinton Calabrese (D-Cliffside Park) also played a role in the groundbreaking event.
“This will create good jobs for our members while also providing commuters with a modern, ADA-accessible station, said Rick Sabato, the president of the Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council. “It is a win-win for everyone.”
Sabato, a key political player in Bergen County, has not yet endorsed a candidate in the race for governor and has not hesitated to criticize Murphy in the past.
The new station will replace one built in 1914.