A group of 21 influential New Jersey progressive leaders, including state Communications Workers of America (CWA) state director Hetty Rosenstein and NJ Working Families state director Sue Altman, and Murphy administration official Katie Brennan have endorsed Valerie Vainieri Huttle for the Democratic State Senate nomination in the 37th district.
New Jersey Citizen Action executive director Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, civil rights leader and Garden State Equality founder Steven Goldstein, Action Together New Jersey executive director Uyen “Winn” Khuong, and Blue Wave New Jersey chair Marcia Marley are backing Vainieri Huttle to replace Loretta Weinberg in the Senate.
Weinberg, the iconic Senate Majority Leader and the liberal lion of the New Jersey Legislature, announced last week that she would not seek re-election in 2021.
“As progressive leaders, we want to see New Jersey continue to move forward. Senate Majority Leader Weinberg was a giant in the Senate, she was a strong champion for equality and democracy, her voice will be sorely missed in Trenton,” the leaders said. “With her retirement, we believe that it is imperative that Senator Weinberg be succeeded by a progressive champion who will continue to fight for all of us.
The said Vainieri Huttle “is that progressive champion.”
“Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle has led the fight to defend access to reproductive healthcare and to safeguard reproductive rights, she has worked to improve protections for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors and to advance conservation efforts in the state,” the progressive leaders said in a joint statement. “Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle has also led New Jersey’s efforts to combat human trafficking and to advance protections for the vulnerable, specifically seniors and individuals with developmental disabilities.
Vainieri Huttle faces Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore Gordon Johnson at a March convention for party support in the Senate race.
Also backing Vainieri Huttle: Garden State Equality executive director Christian Fuscarino; New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault Patricia Teffenhart; CWA campaign leader Estina Baker; Bergen County YWCA CEO Helen Archontou; Democratic State Committee LGBT Caucus Chair Lauren Albrecht; Roxanne Sutocky, the director of community engagement at The Women’s Centers; HIV/AIDS services activist Axel Torres Marrero; Hyacinth Foundation executive Wesley McWhite III; activist India Hayes Larrier; disability activist Javier Robles; Planned Parenthood executive Erin Chung; NJCASA leader Aaron Potenza; CWA Local 1036 official Michele Liebtag; and Yarrow Willman-Cole, the workplace justice director at New Jersey Citizen Action.
“As progressive leaders in New Jersey, we greatly value the work of Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, we know that as State Senator, she will continue to fight for policies that empower our communities and create the real, long-lasting change that we need,” the leading progressives stated. “We believe that there is no better ally, no better champion for progressive values than Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle. Valerie’s leadership and record make her the ideal candidate for State Senate in District 37.”