The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 today endorsed Republicans Peter Palmer and Brian Levine for election to the Somerset County Board of Freeholders on Nov. 4.
“Given the critical state of our roads and bridges, we look for candidates who understand the critical need for investment in transportation infrastructure,” said Greg Lalevee, Business Manager of IUOE Local 825.
Palmer served on the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees beginning in 1999 and served as its chairman in 2005 and 2006. The NJTPA oversees $1 billion in federal transportation investments annually for a region of 6.6 million people.
Levine is a Certified Public Accountant and was the only Mayor in the state appointed to Gov. Christie’s Red Tape Commission.
“As a union, our members are looking for candidates who understand the importance of building and maintaining our transportation infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” Lalevee said. “We believe that candidates Palmer and Levine share compatible views with our own and we are asking our members and their families who reside in Somerset County to give them our whole-hearted support.”
Local 825 is headquartered in Springfield and represents more than 6,500 operating engineers throughout New Jersey and five counties of lower New York: Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan and Delaware. Its members operate heavy-equipment – such as cranes, bulldozers, graders, pavers, pile drivers backhoes and loaders – to execute large construction tasks and earthworks operations.
“Democrats and Republicans, as well as business and labor, must work together to grow our economy, create jobs and solve problems facing our residents today,” said Palmer. “I have always been someone who put progress before politics and sought to build consensus during my time in public service. This endorsement underscores that track record and I am very proud of it.”
“I am honored to have this endorsement. As Mayor of Franklin, I recognized that working with members of the other party was critically important to getting things done,” said Levine. “All too often, whether it’s in Trenton or Washington, DC, there is too much partisan fighting, leading to gridlock and inaction. As a Freeholder, I will be a voice for compromise and collaboration. If we are going to be successful creating jobs, improving our infrastructure and keeping taxes in check, we have to work together.”