The Latino-American Democratic Association of New Jersey has endorsed Assemblyman Gordon Johnson for State Senate in the 37th district, where the retirement of Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg has triggered an open seat.
“Johnson is no stranger to the many diverse communities that comprise District 37 of which the Latinx population continues to be a growing constituency,” the organization said. “He has and will continue to reach out to our community and uniquely represent us in Trenton.”
Johnson is facing Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle for the Democratic nomination.
In a statement, LADA praised both candidates and wants Vainieri Huttle to remain in the Assembly.
“There is but one Senate seat and we believe that our friend and supporter Assemblyman Gordon Johnson’s historic nomination is deserving of unanimous support,” the group said in its endorsement. “We believe that together Johnson and Huttle can continue to be formidable representatives for the 37th.”
The Hispanic population in the Bergen County district has grown over the last two decades, especially in Hackensack, with 24% of 37th district residents identifying as Hispanic in the 2010 Census.
“Gordon Johnson has been a first on many occasions, and he always puts the people he represents first,” said former Hackensack Deputy Mayor Jesus Galvis. “He would make all of us proud by becoming the first African-American State Senator in Bergen County history.”