The National Organization for Women of New Jersey Political Action Committee (NOW) has endorsed 49 Democrats in the upcoming election, but the group denied support to some top Democrats Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and anti-abortion Senator Joe Cryan of Union County.
NOW released a list of 46 candidates, including Lieutenant Gov. Sheila Oliver and 45 legislative contenders, who joined previously endorsed Gov. Phil Murphy, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, and Anjali Mehrotra, who is also the president of the organization and a 21st District Assembly candidate.
As the US Supreme Court appears ready to reverse the ruling that guaranteed a citizen’s right to make decisions about whether or not to have children, women in Elizabeth expressed concern that Cryan said he would outlaw abortion but the party machine backed the incumbent and the Right to Lifer defeated pro-choice Assemblyman Jamel Holley in the June primary election.
Cryan is allied with Quijano in the 20th Legislative District but he is on record stating that he wants to outlaw abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when pregnancy puts a woman’s life in danger while she is sponsoring legislation that would guarantee women the right to a safe and legal abortion on demand.
The Reproductive Freedom Act (S3030/A4848) is ground-breaking legislation that will protect the right to abortion care for everyone in New Jersey and expand access to critical reproductive health services, especially for historically marginalized communities.
“New Jersey will truly flourish when our legislature reflects the population of our state. To that end, we are proud to endorse a group of pro-choice, feminist candidates whose diversity will serve our state well,” said Linda Weber, Chair of NOW-NJ PAC. “NOW advocates for reproductive rights, racial justice, environmental justice, efforts to stop violence against women, pay equity and Constitutional recognition of equal rights for women. These candidates are worthy of our support because we believe they will help in the fight furthering all of these issues.”
All 49 of the candidates the nonpartisan group is backing are Democrats.
Sia Bansal, summer intern with NOW-NJ PAC and NOW Campus Action Network leader at Livingston High School, emphasized the importance of legislation that supports women and minorities.
“I hope as a high school student to one day live in a society where we have true equality,” said Bansal. “Being that legislation is the best way to implement change on a large scale, we need legislators who are dedicated to actively empowering women and working towards a society where women can achieve their full potential.”
“It is no secret that women have borne the brunt of this pandemic, so it is imperative that we elect leaders that are committed to advancing policies that will reduce gender inequities as we rebuild,” said NOW New Jersey President Anjali Mehrotra, who is an Assembly candidate in the 21st Legislative District. “We need to deliver on health care, education, child care, and build systems that ensure that New Jerseyans will no longer have to choose between caring for their families and career opportunities.”
Incumbents were recommended on the basis of their voting record on bills and resolutions supporting the group’s feminist agenda that were considered since the last election, as well as their continued commitment to NOW’s legislative priorities.
Challengers earned an endorsement on the strength of their responses to an application and demonstrated support for women’s issues in their official campaign platform.
No endorsements were made in 73 state-level races.
- In district 4, NOW endorsed Gabriela Mosquera for Assembly.
- In district 7, NOW endorsed Troy Singleton for Senate and Carol Murphy for Assembly
- In district 10, NOW endorsed Emma Mammano for Senate.
- In district 11, NOW endorsed Vin Gopal for Senate and Joann Downey for Assembly.
- In district 12, NOW endorsed Raya Arbiol for Assembly.
- In district 14, NOW endorsed Linda Greenstein for Senate along with Wayne DeAngelo and Daniel Benson for Assembly.
- In district 15, NOW endorsed Shirley K. Turner for Senate along with Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Anthony S. Verrelli for Assembly.
- In district 16, NOW endorsed Andrew Zwicker for Senate along with Roy Freiman and Sadaf F. Jaffer for Assembly.
- In district 17, NOW endorsed Joe Danielsen for Assembly and Sterley Stanley for Assembly.
- In district 18, NOW endorsed Sterley Stanley for Assembly.
- In district 20, NOW endorsed Annette Quijano for Assembly.
- In district 21, NOW endorsed Joseph Signorello for Senate along with Anjali Mehrotra and Elizabeth A. Graner for Assembly.
- In district 22, NOW endorsed Nicholas P. Scutari for Senate along with Linda S. Carter and James Kennedy for Assembly.
- In district 23, NOW endorsed Hope Kaufman for Assembly.
- In district 25, NOW endorsed Jeff Grayzel for Senate along with Patricia Veres and Lauren Barnett for Assembly.
- In district 26, NOW endorsed Christine Clarke for Senate along with Pamela Fadden and Melissa Brown Blaeuer for Assembly.
- In district 27, NOW endorsed Mila Jasey along with John McKeon for Assembly and Cleopatra Tucker for Assembly.
- In district 28, NOW endorsed Cleopatra Tucker for Assembly.
- In district 29, NOW endorsed Teresa Ruiz for Senate and Angela McKnight for Assembly.
- In district 31, NOW endorsed Angela McKnight for Assembly along with Annette Chaparro and Raj Mukherji for Assembly.
- In district 33, NOW endorsed Annette Chaparro and Raj Mukherji for Assembly.
- In district 34, NOW endorsed Nia H. Gill for Senate and Britnee N. Timberlake for Assembly.
- In district 35, NOW endorsed Shavonda Sumter for Assembly and Clinton Calabrese for Assembly.
- In district 36, NOW endorsed Clinton Calabrese for Assembly.
- In district 38, NOW endorsed Lisa Swain and Christopher Tully for Assembly.
- In district 39, NOW endorsed Karlito A. Almeda for Assembly.
- In district 40, NOW endorsed Genevieve Allard for Assembly.