Forward Party endorses Brian Varela for Congress in Democratic primary

Just days after Andrew Yang announced his support for Brian Varela to represent New Jersey’s 8th Congressional District Democratic primary, the progressive challenger was endorsed by the Forward Party, a group working to enable the government to better serve its people.

“We are proud to endorse Brian Varela for New Jersey’s 8th District congressional seat. Brian is committed to moving the nation forward with common-sense electoral reforms like ranked-choice voting and open primaries,” said a statement issued by the organization. “We are confident that, if elected, he will make sure that every voice counts.”

“The Forward Party is endorsing candidates across the country who will restore integrity to our government and work for a more representative and stable democracy,” said the organization, in announcing its endorsement for Varela in the northern New Jersey congressional district.

Varela has said the existing political system is failing ordinary Americans because it caters to corporations and greedy power brokers.

The Forward Party says it’s time that Americans expand our perspective for measuring the economy to reflect how we’re doing as a nation, instead of the stock market and GDP, which fail to account for differences among the American people.

“We need to look at life expectancy and freedom from substance abuse, childhood success rates and meaningful retirement rates as key indicators of our economy,” said the organization’s website. “And we need to implement policies that improve these metrics – not how rich a few stockholders get.”

The bottom 80% of Americans by income own only 8% of stocks, while the GDP doesn’t reflect differences in the cost of living, inflation rates of the country, economic inequality, or the health and happiness of its people.

“Right now, Congress doesn’t have any way to measure if laws that they are passing will improve their constituents’ lives, so the rich get richer and everyone else is left behind,” said Varela, who is running for the open seat being vacated by incumbent Rep. Albio Sires, whose term ends in January 2023.

“Different metrics should be used to evaluate economic success,” said Varela. “We must humanize our economy to work for all of us instead of simply pursuing maximum quarterly earnings in ways that often cause human suffering.”

Varela, 33, is a successful Hudson County entrepreneur with an MBA and a record of success in sales, digital marketing, food distribution, and human resources management system software.

He has positioned himself as an anti-establishment candidate, touting positions such as universal health care, childcare, and education reform.

With six flourishing businesses, he weathered the pandemic without laying off a single employee. He brings a strong work ethic to his campaign, along with a pragmatic approach to progressive values and a deep commitment to the diverse CD-8 community.

“Government needs to work for the people,” says Varela. “Making life better for the people of my district — not serving the political machine — is my top priority. This is a people’s campaign.”

Yang was a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, a 2021 candidate for mayor of New York City, and a Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship named by President Obama.

He is also the founder of Humanity Forward, which advances evidence-based, bipartisan policies to strengthen families, decentralize economic opportunity, and end poverty; and Venture for America, whose mission is to create economic opportunity in American cities.

Varela’s opponent is the unaccomplished son of corrupt US Senator Bob Menendez, Robert Menendez Jr., who was recently appointed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board of commissioners by Gov. Phil Murphy.

The appointment is a high-profile political opportunity for the younger Menendez, an attorney with Lowenstein Sandler who is running for elected office for the first time.

Progressive organizer Ricardo Rojas planned to seek the Democratic nomination but abandoned the race after concluding that “the runway is too short; that success is not a logistical possibility.” David Ocampo Grajales

Republicans only need to flip five seats in November to regain control of the House, so Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump are devoting every resource to help their extremist candidates but whoever wins the primary election on June 7 is likely to win in the general election in the heavily Democratic 8th Congressional District.

New Jersey’s political establishment almost immediately backed the Senator’s son, even before he announced his intention to run for Congress, despite the unresolved federal corruption indictment that resulted in a hung jury and dismal performance in his last campaign fo renomination, when an underfunded progressive challenger earned the support of almost four out of ten Democratic voters.

“The people don’t need a political dynasty,” says Varela. “They need a Congressman who understands what it means to work hard and to build your own future. I know that life. I’ve lived that life, having worked to support my parents and my brother from the time I was 18.”

With a focus on universal childcare, universal healthcare, education reform, and electoral reform, Varela is committed to supporting the needs of his district. Andrew Yang believes that Varela brings something important to the CD-8 race. “I really connected with Brian,” says Yang. “We are very similar” — both political outsiders, entrepreneurs inspired by a genuine desire to make a difference.

The endorsement from someone of Yang’s stature is a sign that Varela’s message is resonating.

“New Jersey needs leaders like Brian Varela — leaders who are willing to think independently and work for their constituents, not just ride the coattails of a political dynasty,” said the challenger’s campaign manager.

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