Al Gore, the former vice president and environmental advocate who won the Nobel prize in 2007, endorsed Phil Murphy for New Jersey governor on Wednesday.
“Phil Murphy is dedicated to making New Jersey a leader in solving the climate crisis,” Gore said in an email blast sent to Murphy supporters. “I’ve known and worked with Phil for over two decades now and am confident in his ability to lead New Jersey toward a sustainable future.”
Murphy rolled out the endorsement from one of the greenest pols in the country after a week of taking some heat for his investments in companies involved in hydrofracking and building gas pipelines. Murphy opposes both as a matter of policy and said at a Democratic primary debate last week that there was probably “no good answer” to questions about the investments.
In the email to supporters, Gore noted that Tammy Murphy, the candidate’s wife, serves on the board of the Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit Gore started in 2007 to raise awareness of climate change. “I could not think of a better steward for New Jersey’s environment than my good friend, Phil Murphy,” Gore said.
In a race that has so far gotten little national attention, an endorsement like Gore’s may help Murphy shore up his left flank. But he already had a double-digit poll lead ahead of the June 6 primary, and political analysts say there’s no knocking him down from the top spot because he also has the most campaign money by far and all 21 county lines, which will give him the top ballot position for the primary in every part of the state.
Another former vice president, Joe Biden, will be coming to Murphy’s aid in the days before the primary. Biden plans to campaign for Murphy in New Jersey during Memorial Day weekend.