It's endorsement season in New Jersey, as the two major gubernatorial candidates racked up a couple of significant endorsements this week.
First, the gov was endorsed by the Latino Leadership Alliance, which in 2009 endorsed his opponent, Jon Corzine. The group doesn't represent the totality of the Latino activist community -- another group, the Latino Action Network, has opposed him, and a third group calls his policies "anti-Latino" -- but it could help Christie pull a few more Latino voters into his column. Perhaps more importantly for Christie, Latino support could help him in a 2016 Republican primary as the GOP tries to widen its tent to Hispanic voters who overwhelmingly went for President Obama last year.
“We cannot expect to get support from the Latino community if we don’t make the Latino community feel welcome and important in our party,” Christie said in accepting the endorsement.
One way of making the community feel welcome, while also helping yourself politically? Appointing the head of the Latino Leadership Alliance, Martin Perez, to the Rutgers board of governors, which Christie did last year.
Meanwhile, in a totally unsurprising but nonetheless important move, State Sen. Barbara Buono (D., Middlesex), Christie's expected Democratic opponent, collected the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America. (See video below.) The state's largest union represents 35,000 state employees and can be a huge force financially and on Election Day, when union members can help get out the vote.
The endorsement was a no-brainer: Buono bucked both Christie and the leaders of her own party in voting against the public worker pension and benefit law in 2011. The law means union members are paying more toward their benefits and pensions.
The CWA also cited Buono's support for a higher minimum wage, which Christie vetoed, and her opposition to Christie's plan to privatize the lottery.
UPDATE: A Christie rep wags his finger at me to note that CWA is a mostly public sector union -- and Christie has snagged an endorsement from the private worker Laborers' International Union of North America. So all labor ain't all Buono...