Another Election Day is behind us, and once again we have seen how important the NJSPBA endorsement was for elected officials throughout New Jersey. Up and down the ballot, we saw the results of what happens when we vote together for the common good of our members and their families.
Of course, this election was not without its drama and surprises, including the gubernatorial election in which we chose to not endorse either candidate. The race for governor appeared to be a snooze prior to Election Day and turned out to be a lot closer than pre-election polling showed. On Election Night, the race was too close to call and both Governor Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli finished the night without knowing the winner.
As night turned to morning, vote-by-mail ballots were also tallied, and the Associated Press called the close election for Governor Murphy. The margin of victory is now approaching 65,000 votes out of approximately 2.4 million ballots cast, the smallest margin of victory since Jim McGreevey defeated Christine Todd Whitman in 1997. The closer-than-expected race resulted in the first re-election of an incumbent Democratic governor since the re-election of Governor Brendan Byrne in 1977.
Congratulations to Governor Murphy, we look forward to continuing a partnership that is positive for our members and the entire State of New Jersey.
Law enforcement was front and center this Election Day, and our endorsements proved important to candidates running for the State Senate and General Assembly. I continue to believe that the silent majority is unwavering in its support of our critical mission to keep our communities safe. I also continue to believe the good work we do wins the day and that the silent majority can, and will, help swing the pendulum back to a place where law enforcement officers are once again respected for our service.
No one could have predicted the real shock of election night — the loss of Senate President Steve Sweeney in his home legislative district. After withstanding an NJEA assault in his 2017 re-election, no one considered the Senate president’s 2021 re-election in question. But Sweeney lost and he is out as Senate president. As of this writing, the leadership vote appears to support the promotion of Senate Judiciary Chairman Nick Scutari to Senate president.
While it is no secret we had our issues with Senate President Sweeney when he worked with former Governor Chris Christie to take money out of our members’ pockets through enacting Chapter 78, Senator Sweeney has most recently been a tremendous ally for law enforcement. In fact, the legislation passed to protect our pensions would not have happened without his help. Senator Sweeney was a friend at the end, and we wish him well.
No matter who the next Senate president is, we will work hard to build the relationship necessary to protect and enhance the livelihoods of our 33,000-plus members.
On the Assembly side of the legislature, we can congratulate Speaker Craig Coughlin on his re-election. We look forward to continuing to evolve our relationship with the speaker and his leadership team.
Election Day reaffirmed the positive outcomes we affect when our members work together to get our endorsed candidates elected. These outcomes only serve to strengthen the position of our members and their families, and we truly appreciate all the volunteer efforts put forward to help candidates endorsed by the NJSPBA.
To the winning candidates up and down the state for local, county and state offices: Congratulations! Please always remember the difficult and often dangerous work associated with enforcing the law and protecting communities. We stand with all the communities we serve, and we ask you to stand with us.