NEWARK – Calling him “a tireless and effective fighter for the African American community and the entire population of the Garden State,” more than two dozen prominent African American religious, community and government leaders today announced their enthusiastic endorsement of Sen. Bob Menendez for re-election.
Gathering in the Fellowship Room of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, the group underscored the Senator’s commitment to education, job creation, civil rights, expanding affordable health care, and fighting for working people.
“Bob Menendez champions the cause for all of us,” said Bishop Gregory Ingram. “We are inspired by his record. He is a man of integrity, sensitivity and compassion.”
“To be a good spokesperson of the people, you must always remember where you came from and who you are,” said Speaker Sheila Oliver, emphasizing that Senator Menendez has consistently embraced that principle. “He doesn’t apologize for speaking up for working people. He has proven and demonstrated that he deserves our support.”
“I want someone who has been through the fire – he’s done that,” said East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser, pointing to the Senator’s experience as Mayor and understanding local issues. “Bob Menendez is the real deal. He says what he means and means what he says.”
The event concluded with the participants prayerfully laying their hands on Menendez.
“I’m very proud and humbled to be recognized and supported by such a distinguished group of spiritual, community, and government leaders,” said Menendez. “It was Jeremiah 29:11 that speaks of new beginnings, where it is said, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans for your welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.’ That’s what I believe this election is about, whether or not we can continue to move down a path of a future and a hope or whether we go back to a different time and place.”
The following African American members of the New Jersey Legislature also released a letter of support for Menendez: New Jersey State Senators Sandra Cunningham, Nia Gill, Ronald Rice; New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver; Assembly members Mila Jasey, L. Grace Spencer, Shavonda Sumter, Cleopatra Tucker, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Herb Conaway, Jr., Jerry Green, Gordon Johnson, Charles Mainor, Troy Singleton, Whip Wilson, Benjie Wimberly;
Religious leaders announcing their endorsement of Menendez included: AME Bishop Gregory Ingram; Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, President, NJ General Baptist Convention; Rev. Dr. Calvin McKinney, President Emeritus, NJ General Baptist Convention and Chairman, NJ Faith Based Initiatives Commission; Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Immediate Past President, NJ General Baptist Convention; Rev. Dr. Stanley Justice, Mt. Zion AME Church and Chairman of the Board, NJ Black Ministers Council; Rev. Ron Christian, Senior Pastor, Christian Love Baptist Church; Rev. Reginald Jackson, Executive Director, Black Ministers Council.
Mayor Jamel Holley of Roselle also joined Bowser in endorsing Senator Menendez.