New Jersey National Organization for Women PAC passed over many Democratic incumbents in a list of endorsements issued Monday.
The group, which backed 34 Democratic Assembly candidates and one independent, made no endorsements in districts one, two, three, five, eight, 13, 14, 17, 19, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39 and 40.
The eighth district is set to host one of the year’s most competitive races. There, Assemblyman Ryan Peters and former Burlington County Sheriff face challenges from Democrats Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale.
In the LD11, the group backed Assemblywoman Joann Downey but passed over her running mate, Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling. The two face challenges from former Hugin for Senate Staffer Matthew Wooley and Freehold Township Board of Education President Michael Amoroso.
The group did back both Democratic candidates in some of the other districts set to hold tight races.
Lisa Bhimani and Darcy Draeger got the group’s support against Assemblyman Anthony Bucco and Denville Councilman Brian Bergen in the 25th.
The same was true for Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman in the 21st district. Those two are running against Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz.
In the seventh legislative district, NOW endorsed independent candidate Kathleen Cooley over incumbent Assemblyman Herb Conaway. The group backed Conaway’s running mate, Assemblywoman Carol Murphy.
Anjali Mehrotra, the president of NOW NJ, said the group made it considered incumbents’ voting records and responses to a questionnaire sent out by the group when making its decisions.
It also required candidates to sign a pledge to support a legislative agenda backing NOW’s policy priorities, which include abortion rights and ending domestic violence, among other things.
Mehrotra said a number of Republicans returned the group’s questionnaire but declined to sign the pledge.
It’s not clear which of the group’s requirements stopped it from endorsing a given candidate.