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Office of the Governor in Trenton, New Jersey. (Photo: Edwin J. Torres /Governor's Office).

Police union stays neutral in governor’s race

By David Wildstein, September 14 2021 3:14 pm

A major law enforcement union is staying out of the New Jersey gubernatorial race, dealing Gov. Phil Murphy a loss of a key group of police officers who backed him four years ago, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed.

But the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police will not endorse Republican Jack Ciattarelli either.  That gives the state’s second-largest law enforcement union a tiny bit of wiggle room if Murphy wins re-election.

POLITICO first reported the union’s decision to not take sides in the governor’s race.

Murphy has received endorsements from the State Trooper’s Fraternal Association of New Jersey and the Port Authority Police Department PBA.  Both unions supported Murphy in 2017.

The largest police union, the New Jersey PBA, has not yet announced their gubernatorial endorsement.

PBA President Patrick Colligan has been critical of Murphy’s support of legislation that restricts police officers from arresting minors for marijuana possession – and for subjecting them to possible civil rights violations if they do.

While the state PBA endorsed Murphy four years ago, they endorsed Donald Trump and only Republican congressional candidates in 2020.

The FOP has about 16,000 members statewide, including the Newark Police Department.

A Ciattarelli digital campaign ad last month accused Murphy of supporting an anti-police agenda.

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