NEWARK – Democratic candidate for New Jersey governor Phil Murphy officially has the endorsement of two of the state’s most high-ranking public officials. On Monday, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, both Democrats, endorsed Murphy for governor in the state’s 2017 contest. According to both senators, if elected Murphy will be an important partner to the senators as they represent New Jersey in Washington.
Booker, whose own name is being floated as a Democratic presidential challenger to President-elect Donald Trump in 2020, heartily endorsed Murphy. Booker expressed concern for Trump’s policies and explained how electing a Democrat like Murphy is, in his opinion, important to the state’s future.
“We need a great leader. I believe there is no greater leader positioned to be the governor that takes us forward… than Phil Murphy,” Booker said. “Now, more than ever, we need a governor that under hostile conditions. We need a governor that can work in tough economic times.”
According to Booker, because of the impending inauguration of Trump as president, New Jersey needs a “strong team who can deliver for this state.” He called himself, Murphy and Menendez a “dream team” able to “stand up to the president when it is necessary.”
When Menedez stepped up to the podium, he asked the crowd if they were “ready to reclaim the future” as he endorsed Murphy for governor.
“Today is a really important day. As we have seen… elections have consequences,” said Menendez, referencing Trump’s November 2016 win. “The things we have fought for for decades are now at risk. I know and care deeply about what New Jersey’s future can an should be.”
Monday’s event also drew in the likes of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones, Essex County freeholders and a number of Newark city councilors.
“While it may be cold in the rest of America, the sun is shining in the state of New Jersey,” said Baraka, claiming that with the election of Murphy New Jersey can be an example for the nation.
The endorsements from Booker and Menedez are the two most high-profile endorsements Murphy has scored so far. However, the Democrat has long been raking in endorsements from New Jersey’s Democratic elite, including some from the likes of New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie and important county chairs, since his announcement he was entering the race in May 2016. Monday’s endorsements further cement Murphy as the favorite for the Democratic nomination in New Jersey.
While Murphy continues to scoop up notable endorsements from the likes of the senators, he is not the only Democratic candidate announced in the June race. Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) is also a declared Democratic candidate. The candidates will face off in the June 2017 primary and face the Republican candidate in the November 2017 general election.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.