Lesniak and Scutari endorse Andrews

U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews picked up the endorsements today of Sen. Raymond Lesniak and Sen. Nicholas Scutari in his race for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination. Lesniak, one of the state's most powerful political insiders, and Scutari represent Union County,

"Congressman, we need your vision, dedication and energy to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home," Lensiak and Scutari wrote in a joint letter to Andrews. "These qualities will enable you to be an outstanding candidate to serve the entire state of New Jersey.

"We too believe that the voters of New Jersey deserve the opportunity to choose their next senator in this year’s election, and we offer our public endorsement for your candidacy to seek the Democratic nomination for United States Senate. We are proud to stand with you in a positive, substantive campaign to change New Jersey and the nation for the better."

With Newark's North Ward power player Adubato and now Lesniak behind Andrews, the south Jersey congressman has secured the support of two key northern bosses whowent against him in his first statewide bid.

In the 1997 Democratic primary for governor, Lesniak was the political musclebacking Jim McGreevery in hissuccessful contest against Andrews.

After initallybacking Andrews,then-Essex County Democratic Chairman Thomas Giblin went with McGreevey. Lesniak personally secured the support of then-Newark Mayor Sharpe James.

After not supporting him then, Adubato this time is securely with Andrews whilethe current mayor, Booker, is with Lautenberg.

In Lesniak's home county of Union, the party chair, Charlotte DeFilippo,supports Lautenberg.

The full text of the Lesniak/Scutari letter:

"As representatives of the citizens of Union county we have had the
pleasure of working with Senator Frank Lautenberg over the years. And
while we sincerely respect his many years of dedicated service to the
citizens of New Jersey, we agree with your assessment that “2008 is a
year of great change in American politics.

"After careful consideration, we have concluded that New Jersey and the country need to chart a new course and we enthusiastically support your campaign for the United States Senate.

"Congressman, you have done a superb job serving your congressional
district, and continue to be an important leader on issues that have a
profound effect on our daily lives such as ensuring access to a high
quality education for children from all walks of life, tackling the
growing health insurance crisis in our nation and state, providing a clean
and healthy environment for our children and guaranteeing that our
government will honor its commitment to our seniors through the Social
Security and Medicare programs.

"Unfortunately, our nation will not have the requisite funds to solve these problems so long as we continue funding a civil war in Iraq. Congressman, we need your vision, dedication and energy to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home. These qualities will enable you to be an outstanding candidate to serve the entire state of New Jersey.

"We too believe that the voters of New Jersey deserve the opportunity to
choose their next senator in this year’s election, and we offer our
public endorsement for your candidacy to seek the Democratic nomination for United States Senate. We are proud to stand with you in a positive, substantive campaign to change New Jersey and the nation for the better."

Lesniak and Scutari endorse Andrews