TRENTON—New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. endorsed state Sen. Barbara Buono’s gubernatorial bid today and called on New Jersey Democrats to unite behind her candidacy.
Buono remains the only Democrat who has officially announced plans to challenge Republican Gov. Chris Christie this year. Other high profile Democrats, such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former acting Gov. Richard Codey, are staying out of the race.
“I believe Sen. Buono is our strongest candidate to beat Gov. Christie this fall, and I’m proud to endorse her,” said Pallone (D-NJ-6.) “That’s why I’m urging New Jersey Democrats and independents to come together to support her candidacy and avoid a divisive primary.
“Through the years, I’ve seen Sen. Buono’s tireless commitment to improving the lives of New Jersey’s families firsthand. She’s never forgotten her working class roots and what it means to struggle. It’s why the Senator has led the fight to protect investments in education and health care and job training while keeping our budget balanced.
“As the first woman to be Senate Majority Leader and Chair the powerful Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee,Sen. Buono has shown the leadership and the toughness we need in our next governor. She will focus on creating new jobs and bringing down out-of-control property taxes, and nothing could be more important to New Jersey’s struggling middle class and working poor,” Pallone said.
“I’m grateful for Congressman Pallone’s support and his friendship over the many years we’ve worked together,” Buono said. “He has been on the frontlines in the fight for New Jersey’s middle class taxpayers and has been a champion for progressive values and all New Jerseyans should be thankful he’s representing us in Washington.
“I look forward to campaigning with Congressman Pallone in the months ahead as we lay out a starkly different vision for New Jersey than the failed policies we’ve seen under Governor Christie. We can’t afford four more years of the fourth-worst unemployment rate, the highest property taxes in the nation and soaring tuition costs. Together we can bring progressive change to Trenton and deliver the results New Jersey’s working families deserve.”