One of the state’s largest police unions is taking a backseat in this year’s gubernatorial race.
At a convention this weekend, delegates for the 33,000-member state Police Benevolent Association voted not to endorse a candidate and will hold off from weighing in on who voters should support in November.
The PBA endorsed Gov. Chris Christie’s predecessor, former Gov. Jon Corzine, in 2009. The group’s president, Anthony Wieners, has been a critic of the Republican incumbent over changes to public employees’ pension and health benefits that were enacted during Christie’s tenure.
But despite opposing the benefits legislation, Sen. Barbara Buono failed to nab the endorsement of the union.
In a letter to members, Wieners wrote about the trials and tribulations facing his members over the recent past, as well as the “half-hearted” challenge Democrats mounted in an attempt to oust the Republican incumbent.
“As I write this, Gov. Chris Christie maintains a commanding lead for re-election. He is increasingly being referred to as a presidential candidate in 2016. He holds what appears to be a trifecta of winning campaign tools – positive and sweeping name recognition, fundraising superiority and cross-party political support,” Wieners wrote.
“His opponent, Senator Barbara Buono, has long been an advocate for public employees. I personally appreciate her voting record on our behalf over the years. However, from all appearances, publically and privately, it seems that the Democratic Party is going into this race half-hearted,” he continued.
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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