Jason Krychiw has dropped out of the race for the Demcoratic State Senate nomination in the 20th district following a New Jersey Globe report that he had embellished his credentials as a college instructor.
Krychiw, who is challenging State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) in the 20th district, had claimed to be teaching at Kean University, but officials there said that wasn’t true and that he hadn’t worked at the school since June 2017.
“I am currently unemployed and was not truthful about my employment history,” Krychiw said.
In three telephone interviews on Wednesday, Krychiw repeatedly insisted that he taught a twice-a-week class, “Principles of Microbiology,” even though university officials said he was not employed by them.
“Not being clear about my work timeline and employment was a mistake,” Krychiw said. “I got so caught up in other civic and political work over the years, it was just something I stopped correcting people on and perpetuated a story and I am truly sorry for anyone who feels misled, hurt, or betrayed by these actions. I am deeply sorry to my running mates, campaign staff, and anyone on my team for the hurt this has caused.”
Krychiw’s withdrawal creates a two-way race for the Demcoratic State Senate nomination between Cryan and Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Roselle), although the full Krychiw slate will remain on the ballot.
“That might not mean much now, but I hope in time I can work to repair these relationships. Truthfully, I was also self-conscious about not holding a job consistently. But I realize that my employment or unemployment is not a measure of my self-worth, which is something I did not take to heart at the time,” Krychiw said. “It is why I deflected from the issue for so long and was not fully honest about my history. Regardless of my personal feelings, I should have been more transparent and specific.”
As a result, two State Assembly candidates running with Krychiw have also withdrawn from the race, saying that they and the campaign staff were unaware of the lie.
“This campaign was supposed to be run on the progressive principles of transparency, truth, and accountability,” said Aissa Heath, one of the Assembly candidates. “And unfortunately, because of Jason’s actions, we can no longer say that. I can no longer in good faith continue to run knowing that so much trust was broken.”
Heath said that “none of our staff, volunteers, or even his running mates knew he misled us and had we known, we would never put so many people through this hurt.”
“There is no ill will wished, however, the pain Jason has caused our entire campaign cannot be taken back,” Heath said.
Heath’s running mate, Ricky Castaneda, said that Krychiw’s “manipulation, deception, and gaslighting have hurt me, Aissa, our campaign staff, our supporters, and the working class, for whom this campaign was launched.”
“We are dropping out of this race because we have broken your trust and let you all down. I am sorry to our campaign team for trusting us and to the supporters who believed in this campaign,” Castaneda said. The progressive movement shall need to move forward without the LD 20 campaign.”
The Krychiw-backed candidates for Union County Commissioner, Sienna Bucu, and Antoinette Dukes, who is running on the slate for Union Township Committee, are also dropping out of the race.
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi said that the ballots for the June 8 primary election have already been printed and it is too late to remove any of the candidates on Krychiw’s ticket.
“The people of New Jersey deserve better from all those who have or plan to run for office, myself included. We cannot continue to hold political machines or incumbents to a higher standard if we do not hold each other to that same standard,” Krychiw stated. “And if I let people down in that way, I sincerely apologize.”