A political action committee connected to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association has split their endorsements in the state’s most closely watched legislative races, backing Republicans in the 2nd district, Democrats in the 8th, and candidates from both parties in the 16th.
New Jersey Organization for a Better State (NEW JOBS) PAC is largely supporting incumbent lawmakers, with Assemblyman John Armato (D-Buena) as the only sitting legislator where the business PAC went with a challenger.
In the Atlantic County-based 2nd district, the NEW JOBS PAC went with all Republicans: Vince Polistina for Senate, and former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian and former deputy state attorney general Claire Swift for Assembly.
Polistina, a former assemblyman who won a special election last month to fill the vacant Senate seat, faces four-term Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield). Guardian and Swift are running against Armato and Atlantic County Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick.
State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) and her Assembly running mates, Mark Natale and Allison Eckel, won the backing the NEW JOBS PAC. Addiego, who switched parties in 2019, faces Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton). The Burlington-based 8th district gives Democrats their best chance at flipping two open Assembly seats currently held by the GOP.
In Central Jersey’s 16th district, the pro-business PAC is supporting former Rep. Michael Pappas (R-Branchburg) for the Senate seat Republican Kip Bateman is leaving after a total of 28 years in the legislature. Pappas faces Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick).
Incumbent Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough) received one of the NEW JOBS endorsements, with the other going to Republican Vincent Panico, the president of the Hunterdon Central Regional Board of Education.
The business PAC endorsed State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) for re-election in the 11th district, and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) for an open State Senate seat in District 21.
NEW JOBS PAC endorsed only former Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Ellen Park for State Assembly in the 37th district, sidestepping another Democratic endorsement for Assembly against a Republican who is a statewide leader of the Oath Keepers and a running mate with ties to the group. The PAC is backing Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore Gordon Johnson for the open 37th district Senate seat.
Seven senators – Robert Smith (D-Piscataway), Michael Doherty (R-Oxford), Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City), Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen), Brian Stack (D-Union City), and Nia Gill (D-Montclair) – and seventeen Assembly members were passed over for endorsements.