Former Obama state director endorses Pascrell in CD 9; likens campaign to Obama ’08

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell today announced the support of former Senior Advisor and New Jersey State Director for President Obama, Mark Alexander. 

“I’ve known President Obama for 15 years,” said Alexander.  “Having served as President Obama’s senior adviser, and as state director, I know that the values of President Obama and Bill Pascrell are one and the same.  I know that we always can count on Bill Pascrell to fight for what’s important.  As a long-time resident of Montclair, which Congressman Pascrell represented for many years, I am personally familiar with his effectiveness as a congressman and representing New Jersey in Congress.  From Englewood to North Arlington, across the whole of Secaucus and from Prospect Park to Paterson, Bill Pascrell is the man to lead the fight for middle-class taxpayers across north Jersey and I’m proud to endorse him in the Democratic Primary for the new 9th Congressional District.”

A law professor at Seton Hall University, Alexander specializes in constitutional law and the intersection of law and politics. He writes and teaches in the areas of constitutional law, law and politics, criminal procedure, and the First Amendment. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of law, politics and government and on free speech issues.

“I am proud and honored to receive my friend Mark Alexander’s endorsement today,” said Pascrell. “Our campaign has huge momentum heading into its last week and adding someone with Mark’s background and expertise as senior advisor to President Obama and as the president’s former New Jersey state director significantly strengthens our bid to be the Democratic candidate in the new 9th Congressional District. During President Obama’s primary, Mark was the driving force in New Jersey in the implementation of the president’s policies so his background and his expertise make today’s endorsement that much more special for me.”

Alexander served as general counsel to Cory Booker and the Booker Team in the 2006 Newark Municipal elections and then for Newark in Transition, as Mayor Booker moved to assume the office. Other political work includes serving as issues director for the Bill Bradley for President Campaign in 1999-2000. 

Alexander clerked for Chief Judge Thelton Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and was a litigator with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in San Francisco before joining the Seton Hall Law School faculty in 1996. Professor Alexander was the 1996-1997 Student Bar Association Professor of the Year, and he has been nominated for the award on numerous other occasions. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Yale University. In the spring 2003 semester, Alexander returned to Yale Law School as a visiting scholar.

His father, Clifford Alexander Jr., was the first African-American Secretary of the Army, serving in that role from 1977 to 1981.

Disquieted by the negativity of the Rothman Campaign, Alexander said Pascrell’s campaign stirred memories of the 2008 Democratic Primary. 

“The tone and on the ground work ethic reminds of the ’08 Obama presdiential campaign,” said the former Obama State Director. “We constantly sought to connect with people on the issues that mattered to them. That was one focus, and other was the base message of how people can connect with the change they themselves want to see.”

Former Obama state director endorses Pascrell in CD 9; likens campaign to Obama ’08