NEWARK – Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries picked up his first labor union endorsement of the campaign on Monday.
“Shavar’s history of fighting for workers’ rights is outstanding, and his record in the field of criminal justice fits one of the major problems that the city of Newark is confronted with – crime on the streets of Newark,” said John Gerow, president of Teamsters Local 97, which represents 9,000 workers in heath care and other sectors. “Newark is on the road back. It is necessary to have the kind of ability to keep that kind of renaissance going, and this man can do that.”
According to Gerow, 2,200 of the workers that the union represents are based in Newark, with many working for Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, the former UMDNJ.
“Local 97 is the largest Teamsters local in the state of New Jersey, and I’m deeply honored to accept their endorsement today,” Jeffries, a former state Assistant Attorney General, said. “They represent thousands of people who work and live in the city of Newark. They understand personally the issues that the people of Newark face around safety, job creation and economic development. They have a personal finger on the pulse of some of the health care challenges we face here in Newark.”
After Jeffries’ rival in the Newark mayoral race, South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, racked up a slew of labor union endorsements in recent weeks, Jeffries looked to the final 56 days of the campaign optimistically.
“We have support throughout every ward in this city – workers, clergy, families and parents,” Jeffries said. “We expect to obtain support from everybody as we move forward and our team’s vision and record of performance is more and more known throughout this city.”