The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, IAFF, AFL-CIO, affiliated with the 300,000-member International Association of Fire Fighters, today cited public worker pension and benefits and state aid cuts as the reasons for withholding support for both Democrats and Republicans who voted for those policies.
“The irresponsible budget cuts and reduction of aid to municipalities out of Trenton and erroneous legislation to Pension and Health coverage to our members has caused a serious shortage of firefighters across our Great State that is impeding our ability to protect the citizens of New Jersey” said Dominick Marino, president of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey.
“As a professional firefighter’s union, we have made it a point to endorse and support candidates based upon either their performance or stated positions or a combination thereof concerning our issues. Our membership consists of dedicated public safety professionals, hardworking taxpayers supporting families who cherish and exercise their right to vote, something too many aspiring politicians forget or purposely disregard when considering the value of our support.
“Having the people we endorsed in the state Legislature is paramount to changing the detrimental atmosphere in Trenton that no longer respects the great risk and sacrifice firefighters must endure to protect New Jersey families,” Marino added.
South Jersey Democrats got hit hardest, with the block of state Sen. Steve Sweeney’s (D-3), West Deptford, and backers on health and pension benefits cuts all denied.
The firefighters refused to endorse candidates in Districts 1 – 10, with the exception of Assemblyman Nelson Albano (D-1).
In District 11, they endorsed neither state Sen. Jennifer Beck nor her Democratic opponent Ray Santiago of Freeholder. They did endorse the Democratic Assembly candidates in that race.
They endorsed Democratic challenger Bob Brown, an ex-cop from Old Bridge, over Republican Assemblyman Sam Thompson in the LD 12 Assembly race.
They endorsed no one for Senate in District 13, where they also back the Democratic Assembly challengers.
The firefighters endorsed state Sen. Linda Greenstein and her Democratic running mates in LD 14.
They backed the Democratic incumbents in LD 15, LD 17, LD, 18, LD 19, LD 20, LD 22, LD 27 and 28 and Democratic challengers in districts 16, 21, 23 and 25.
They issued no endorsements in LD 26, LD 28 or in LD 30.
In Hudson County, they backed both slates of Democratic incumbents in LD 31 and LD 32.
In LD 33, they only endorsed Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, who opposed pension and benefits reform.
They rewarded state Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair) and Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-Montclair) and punished Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) with no endorsement in LD 34.
They endorsed Democrats in LD 35, and backed the Democratic incumbents in LD 36. They did not endorse LD 36 newcomer Marlene Caride.
LD 37 incumbents received the full support of the firefighters. In LD 38, state Sen. Bob Gordon and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner received support.
The firefighters issued no endorsements in LD 39 and backed the LD 40 Democratic challengers.