U.S. Rep. Andy Kim on Monday snapped up two important endorsements in his bid to retain the third district congressional seat.
The freshman Democrat was endorsed by former President Barack Obama in the morning and, later in the day, received the endorsement from the powerful New Jersey Education Association, the union representing the state’s teachers and other school employees. Kim was one of a number of congressional Democrats the former president endorsed; Kim served as Director for Iraq on the National Security Council under Obama’s administration.
“I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic, and highly qualified Democrats,” said Obama. “Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working class people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans — not just those at the top.”
“I’m honored to have President Obama on our team as we mount our historic bid for reelection,“ said Kim. “Serving under President Obama at the White House National Security Council, I saw firsthand what it takes to lead our nation in times of crisis. In Congress, I’ve done everything I can to continue to lead by putting facts before politics, working for people instead of corporate special interests, and delivering real results for our community.”
Kim is being challenged from Republican David Richter, who won his party’s nomination last month after initially seeking office in the second district. When U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew switched parties and was endorsed by Republicans and President Donald Trump for re-election, Richter moved his campaign north and clinched the nomination after a feud with former Burlington County Freeholder Kate Gibbs.
Kim has attracted endorsement from myriad organized labor organizations, including the AFL–CIO, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Transport Workers Union. He added another late Monday – the NJEA, which has pledged to mobilize its membership to vote for Kim and is likely to add in financial support through its Super PAC.
“These endorsements are just the beginning,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “The real power of our union is in our willingness to work hard to elect these candidates in November. We have deep roots in our communities and the respect of our friends and neighbors. We are going to use those relationships to talk about why these public education advocates deserve to be elected. We walk the walk when it comes to advocating for what we believe in.”
The NJEA also endorsed Joe Biden for President on Monday.