By Max Pizarro | April 8th, 2013 - 9:48am
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The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 announced today that it is endorsing Gov. Chris Christie for re-election in November. 

“We need a governor who understands the importance of job creation and who is not afraid to stand up for working people in the state,” said Greg Lalevee, Business Manager of Local 825. Lalevee said the Local’s members enthusiastically voted to authorize the endorsement.

“There's no doubt that, thanks to Governor Christie's leadership, our economy is on the upswing and by continuing to work together, we'll drive additional job opportunities for our members,” he said. “Gov. Christie has made it a priority to renew the state Transportation Trust Fund and work with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to ensure that major infrastructure projects are prioritized and financed."

These projects, he said, have included widening the New Jersey Turnpike and Parkway, raising the Bayonne Bridge and expanding ports Newark and Elizabeth. Lalevee also pointed to Christie’s advocacy for federal funding to begin Hurricane Sandy reconstruction. Christie also has won praise from Local 825 for his active support for the “Building Our Future” bond referendum, which was approved by voters on Nov. 6 and which authorized $750 million in state bonds to improve facilities at New Jersey colleges and universities.

“We’ve been impressed with Gov. Christie’s commitment to job creation generally and to our building trades members specifically,” Lalevee said. “His efforts at kick-starting our economy have been noted and he has our solid support.” 

Lalevee also noted Christie’s 2011 signature on legislation to renew investment in Atlantic City to stimulate development and create construction jobs for Local 825 members.  He noted further the governor’s role in attracting Triple Five, the Edmonton, Canada, developer of the Mall of America, to revive the failed Xanadu development in East Rutherford.  

“We are pleased with the governor’s performance during his first term and look forward to continuing the progress we’ve made into the next four years,” said Lalevee.

Local 825 is headquartered in Springfield, N.J., 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. 

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Quote of the Day

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"Potentially, we can get this done, because it's important. We get it. We understand it. But there are issues. There's the speedy trial component. How are we going to pay for this? How is the risk-assessment piece of it going to be done?" - Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), on bail reform.

- The Asbury Park Press

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