New Jersey Citizen Action Announces 2021 Legislative Endorsements

Newark, NJ – August 30 – Statewide advocacy organization New Jersey Citizen Action’s (NJCA) Political Action Committee (PAC) today announced its endorsements for the 2021 State Legislature elections. The organization’s endorsement process examines an incumbent’s voting record and candidates’ responses to the organization’s questionnaire, among other factors. Endorsed candidates have demonstrated their commitment to and leadership in fighting for the interests of low- and moderate-income individuals, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups.

“With large corporations and the very wealthy holding outsized influence on our political institutions, it is more important than ever to support legislative champions that will stand up for the most vulnerable individuals and communities,” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, NJCA Executive Director. “Although Trump is out of office, his and the GOP’s policies of xenophobia and authoritarianism remain a dire threat here in New Jersey and across the country. We urge New Jerseyans to turn out in November and vote for these thoroughly qualified individuals to advance justice and equity in the state.”

“The NJCA PAC Board followed a thorough and comprehensive endorsement process – looking closely at current legislators’ voting records and their roles in championing key legislation we supported, pushing for legislation we opposed, or obstructing important legislation,” said Liz Glynn, NJCA Director of Organizing. “For Democratic challengers, the PAC closely evaluated their submitted questionnaires. We are excited to tout these legislative champs who have been tirelessly advocating for key policies to improve the lives of New Jerseyans. We also look forward to pushing for the Democratic challengers who could potentially flip seats and further ensure future progress. NJ must continue to address and fix our economic and racial inequities.”

State Senators were evaluated on their voting records from the past 4 years, and Assembly Members for the past two years. Key pieces of legislation included Earned Sick Leave (A1827/S2171), establishing the ACA state exchange (A5499/S49), increasing the minimum wage (A15/S15), passing drivers’ licenses for immigrants (A4743/S3229), legalization of marijuana (A21/S21), reinstating the millionaires’ tax (A10/S2949), expand health care coverage for children with cover all kids (S3798/A5805), and protecting renters affected by the pandemic (S3691/ A5685).

The Democratic caucus predominantly supported two bills that NJCA opposed: the bill that increased the Economic Development Authority’s corporate tax credits thereby risking the state’s future economic stability, and the bill allowing Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield to restructure while skirting their legal and public obligations to adequately invest their public assets in affordable healthcare. NJCA continues to watchdog the impact of both bills.

For the 2021 state elections, NJCA endorses 38 Assembly candidates and 19 State Senate candidates. Of those, 43 are incumbents and 14 are challengers.

Assembly Endorsements

  • Asm Reginald Atkins (LD-20, challenger)
  • Asm Daniel Benson (LD-14)
  • Asm Clinton Calabrese (LD-36)
  • Asm Ralph Caputo (LD-28)
  • Asw Linda Carter (LD-22)
  • Asm Herb Conaway, Jr. (LD-7)
  • Asm Craig Coughlin (LD-19)
  • Asm Joe Danielsen (LD-17)
  • Asm Roy Freiman (LD-16)
  • Allison Friedman (LD-13, challenger)
  • Asm Thomas Giblin (LD-34)
  • Elizabeth Graner (LD-21, challenger)
  • Asm Louis Greenwald (LD-6)
  • Shama Haider (LD-37, challenger)
  • Erin Howard (LD-13, challenger)
  • Sadaf Jaffer (LD-16, challenger)
  • Asw Mila Jasey (LD-27)
  • Asm Robert Karabinchak (LD-18)
  • Asm James Kennedy (LD-22)
  • Garitt “Tony” Kono (LD-10, challenger)
  • Asw Pamela Lampitt (LD-6)
  • Asw Yvonne Lopez (LD-19)
  • Asm John McKeon (LD-27)
  • Asw Angela McKnight (LD-31)
  • Anjali Mehrotra (LD-21, challenger)
  • Asw Carol Murphy (LD-7)
  • Ellen Park (LD-37, challenger)
  •  Asw Annette Quijano (LD-20)
  • Mary Quilter (LD-10, challenger)
  •  Asw Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (LD-15)
  • Asm Gary Schaer (LD-36)
  • Asm Sterley Stanley (LD-18)
  • Asw Shavonda Sumter (LD-35)
  • Asm Adam Taliaferro (LD-3)
  • Asw Britnee Timberlake (LD-34)
  • Asw Cleopatra Tucker (LD-28)
  • Asm Anthony Verrelli (LD-15)
  • Asm Benjie Wimberly (LD-35)

Senate Candidates

  • Sen Richard Codey (LD-27)
  • Sen Nilsa Cruz-Perez (LD-5)
  • Sen Joseph Cryan (LD-20)
  • Sen Patrick Diegnan (LD-18)
  • Sen Ruth Dugan (LD-39, challenger)
  • Sen Nia Gill (LD-34)
  • Sen Linda Greenstein (LD-14)
  • Asm Gordon Johnson (LD-37, challenger)
  • Sen Joseph Lagana (LD-38)
  • Emma Mammano (LD-10, challenger)
  • Sen Nellie Pou (LD-35)
  • Sen Ronald Rice (LD-28)
  • Sen M. Teresa Ruiz (LD-29)
  • Joseph Signorello (LD-21, challenger)
  • Sen Troy Singleton (LD-7)
  • Vincent Solomeno (LD-13, challenger)
  • Sen Shirley Turner (LD-15)
  • Sen Joe Vitale (LD-19)
  • Asm Andrew Zwicker (LD-16, challenger)

Endorsed candidates are supported with outreach to media, partner organizations, allies, affiliates, and 20,000 members throughout New Jersey, as well as various levels of direct voter contact by phone, text and door-knocking.

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New Jersey Citizen Action is a statewide advocacy and empowerment organization that advances social, racial and economic justice for all, while also meeting the pressing needs of low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans through education and direct services.