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Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Lt. Governor endorses Gordon Johnson for State Senate

Sheila Oliver chooses between two of her former Assembly colleagues

By David Wildstein, April 16 2021 5:10 pm

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver today took sides in a Democratic State Senate primary between two of her former Assembly colleagues, endorsing Gordon Johnson to succeed Loretta Weinberg in the 37th district.

“As former Assembly Speaker, I know firsthand the unparalleled passion and commitment to service that Assemblyman Johnson has provided to the residents of the 37th Legislative District for nearly two decades,” Oliver said.

Oliver served with Johnson and his rival, Valerie Vainieri Huttle.

She also endorsed Johnson’s two running mates for State Assembly, former Tenafly Councilwoman Shama Haider and former Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Ellen Park.

“I’m proud to endorse Gordon, Shama, and Ellen, who I know will fight for progressive policy solutions that uplift working families in Bergen County and throughout New Jersey,” Oliver said.  “From expanding access to health care to addressing inequities in our criminal justice system, this is a progressive and historically diverse ticket that will get things done for New Jerseyans.”

Oliver’s running mate, Gov. Phil Murphy, has already endorsed Johnson, Haider and Park.  He is expected to headline a fundraiser for the slate next month.

While Murphy’s name appears on the primary election ballot on the Bergen County Democratic organization line with Johnson, Haider and Park, Oliver will not be on the ballot until November.

Weinberg, the retiring Senate Majority Leader, is also backing Johnson.  That gives him the endorsements of the top two women in state government in his campaign against Vainieri Huttle.

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