Former U.S Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy has locked up another high profile endorsement in the New Jersey governor’s race. On Wednesday, the New Jersey Working Families Alliance — a political advocacy organization “fighting for a government that represents the needs and values of working families — announced their support of Murphy in the June primary and the November general election.
According to a press release issued by NJ Working Families about he endorsement, organization members feel that Murphy is the right candidate to “fix New Jersey after eight years of [current Governor] Chris Christie’s abuse and neglect.” In the release, NJ Working Families Executive Director Analila Mejia issued a statement in support of Murphy.
“In a field with many progressive candidates, Phil Murphy offers the most comprehensive and compelling plan to use the Governor’s office to improve the lives of all working families in New Jersey,” said Mejia. “We welcome his pledge to use the power of his office to make New Jersey work for all of us — even if it means upsetting the politically powerful on any side of the aisle, and we’ll work with him to do it.”
The New Jersey Working Families Alliance supporting Murphy in the gubernatorial race is particularly notable due to the fact that in the 2016 presidential primary, Working Families supported Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders‘s presidential bid. In New Jersey, one of the other Democratic gubernatorial candidates — Assemblyman John Wisniewski — was the state campaign chair for the Sanders campaign. So far, gubernatorial support from those affiliated with Sanders has been split between the two candidates with Sanders himself not yet endorsing. The Murphy campaign currently has the endorsement of Sanders’s son, Levi Sanders. The Wisniewski campaign currently has the endorsement of Jeff Weaver, the former national campaign manager for Bernie Sanders.
Murphy is a former Goldman Sachs executive who, despite his ties to the financial world, has said he will take on special interests and Wall Street if elected. Wisniewski and other primary rivals including state Senator Ray Lesniak and former Undersecretary to the U.S. Treasury Jim Johnson have been critical of Murphy for these ties and the candidates $10 million loan to his campaign. However, as with Working Families, many of New Jersey’s labor unions are falling in step with Murphy’s campaign. Murphy has endorsements from unions, including the Laborers’ International Union of North America, local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, the New Jersey Education Association and the Communication Workers of America. Wisniewski has the support of National Nurses United.
The gubernatorial primary will be held in June. Despite Wisniewski’s endorsements, Murphy has the support of the Democratic establishment in New Jersey, making him the favorite to win the June primary.