Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore Gordon Johnson has picked up the endorsement of another local officeholder in his pursuit of the Democratic nomination for State Senate in the 37th district.
Teaneck Councilman Michael Santiago Pagan said he would back Johnson for Senate and Palisades Park Mayor Chris Chung for Assembly “to represent me, my familia and my community from District 37 down in Trenton.”
Pagan’s decision to back Chung against his hometown Democratic municipal chair, Alexandra Soriano-Taveras, offers additional validation that Bergen County Democratic leaders want Chung to fill the open Assembly seat. Pagan’s is employed as the county’s public information officer.
The Teaneck Democratic County Committee voted last month to support Soriano-Taveras for Assembly.
Johnson faces Assembly Deputy Speaker Valerie Vainieri Huttle for the chance to succeed Lorretta Weinberg. Weinberg, the Senate Majority Leader, is retiring after the completion of her current term.
“As an Assemblyman, Gordon Johnson has fought hard for the people of LD 37 whether early in his life in the United States Military, as a local law enforcement officer in Englewood, or during his tenure in Trenton,” Pagan said. He is dedicated to representing every corner of our community.”
“As a local elected official who has worked in the legislative branch in both Trenton and Washington DC, I know what it takes to be a strong advocate and leader for your district. Our state representatives need to fight for us — for all of us,” said Pagan. “Gordon and Chris have committed to representing our entire district to help ease the local property tax burden, fully fund our schools and ensure that Trenton works for us and not the other way around.”
A former press secretary to U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, Pagan is the first Latino to serve on the Teaneck Township Council.