For Immediate Release: 5/25/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

NJ Dems Condemn GOP Obstruction on Gun Violence in Wake of Another Mass Shooting

Chairman Jones: ‘When will Enough by Enough for Republicans to Act?’

TRENTON, NJ – In the wake of yet another mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas that left at least 19 children and 2 teachers dead, and coming on the heels of the deadly shooting in Buffalo where ten Black patrons of a supermarket were gunned down by a white supremacist, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee is releasing the following statement.. 

“Once again, we are mourning the deaths of innocent children and adults because our Republican legislators believe that guns are more valuable than people. Instead of coming together to address these highly preventable deaths, the Republican Party can only offer ‘thoughts and prayers’ to the devastated families and an exhausted nation today,” said Chairman Jones. “Make no mistake – these deaths are the result of a Republican Party that remains beholden to the NRA and the gun industry. Despite a majority of Americans supporting stricter gun laws, the Republican Party continues to pander to the gun lobby in return for campaign cash. And while they dance to the NRA’s tune, mass shootings continue to be carried out with the exact kind of assault weapon that no one has any business owning outside of a military or law enforcement role. The results are a savage, racist attack on a Buffalo supermarket that is at the center of the city’s Black community, followed in rapid succession by a shocking display of violence at an elementary school in Uvalde. And that’s just in May – we have had 213 mass shootings in 2022, 27 of those occurring in schools. When will enough be enough for Republicans to finally join Democrats and act to save the lives of our children and our people?”

Right now, New Jersey Republicans are trying to weaken the gun safety laws meant to keep New Jersey communities safe from gun violence. Newly introduced legislation would make it easier for people to have access to deadlier and more dangerous assault weapons and ammunition, requesting $1 million in taxpayer funds to create high school gun clubs, decriminalizing the sale of armor-piercing ammunition, eliminating gun magazine capacity limits and seeking several other extreme measures straight out of the NRA playbook. 

“New Jersey Democrats have worked hard to enact strong gun safety laws designed to keep our communities safe, and after these latest horrifying mass shootings the very last thing we should do is make it easier for people to obtain dangerous assault weapons and ammunition,” said Chairman Jones. “The facts are that wherever we see stronger gun safety laws, we see fewer gun deaths. New Jersey Republicans’ repeated attempts to weaken laws that are working in New Jersey show us how little they actually care about keeping New Jerseyans safe. They want more guns on the street, which will only lead to more gun violence. They want NRA money and A ratings. We cannot allow that to happen in New Jersey.”

For Immediate Release: 5/19/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

Van Drew Votes NO on House Bill to Address Baby Formula Crisis

Republican Congressman Continues to Fail NJ Families

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Democratic State Committee is releasing the following statement after Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew voted against the Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act late last night, which would provide emergency funding to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States. Every one of New Jersey’s Democratic members of Congress voted for the bill. 

“While Democrats are moving quickly to pass legislation that would help families and address the shortage of baby formula, Jeff Van Drew is proving again that he has no interest in helping New Jersey families trying to feed their babies,” said NJDSC Vice Chair Peg Schaffer. “The fact that Van Drew voted against a bill to help curb the nationwide formula shortage tells you everything you need to know about Jefferson Van Drew. The vote was callous, inhumane, and in line with his new home in the ultra-MAGA wing of the Republican party. While Republicans like Van Drew are voting against actual solutions, Democrats are laser-focused on providing the resources to help address the infant formula shortage, and working to lower costs on everything from gas to groceries.”

This “no” vote is the latest in a long pattern of Van Drew actively working against real solutions to the problems faced by New Jerseyans. Earlier this year, Van Drew joined 193 House Republicans in voting against capping the cost of insulin at $35 a month, while every New Jersey Democrat supported the bill. Additionally, every congressional Republican — including both Van Drew and Chris Smith — voted against the American Rescue Plan, which has saved New Jerseyans money on everything from their health care premiums to rent or mortgage to child care costs, and more.


We have anticipated a moment like this since Trump rushed three appointees onto the Supreme Court bench within four years, all of them rubber stamped by the Republican members of the Senate. Overturning Roe v. Wade would be unprecedented, but it would not be unexpected. This type of attack on women’s autonomy has been a cornerstone of the Republican platform for decades. 

If you’re feeling at a loss about what to do right now, remember that we can only overcome this attack together. The radical agenda of the Republican right must be stopped, and there is only one way to do that: get angry, get mobilized, and get voting.

Sign up here to volunteer with a pro-choice frontline Democratic Congressional campaign now. 

A woman in Mississippi, where only 1 abortion clinic currently exists, should have the same access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, as a woman in our state of New Jersey, where the right to an abortion was codified into state law last year by Governor Murphy and the Democratic-majority state legislature. The expected ruling from the Supreme Court would mean that access to health care could be predicated on a person’s location. Ending Roe does not end abortions. It only ends access to safe and legal abortions for vulnerable communities nationwide.

The fact is that a strong majority of Americans believe in Roe v. Wade and in protecting a person’s right to choose. 

Access to safe abortions is not a Republican or Democratic issue – it is a public health and human rights issue. Full stop. Now, more than ever, we need your help electing leaders who will fight for that right for all women. 

Remember, together we can create a future where women’s rights are not constantly up for debate and negotiation, but we need your help in getting there. It is crucial to continue to elect more Democratic candidates across our state – and the country.

Do not give up. Do not despair. Turn your anger into action and make your voice heard by joining a local campaign at the grassroots level. Tell Republicans across the country that we won’t sit by while they slowly come for more of our rights.


Jones & Schaffer: This Assault on Women’s Rights Cannot Be Allowed to Stand

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., and Vice-Chair Peg Schaffer are releasing the following joint statement following reports that the Supreme Court will vote to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, eliminating abortion rights in much of the country and endangering women’s lives. 

“This decision purportedly authored by Republican appointees on the Supreme Court would be an unprecedented – but not unexpected – assault on women and their right to control their own bodies and make decisions about their own health care. We all knew this was coming, yet we are still horrified by Republicans’ utter contempt for women and disregard for their bodily autonomy. Make no mistake, this is only the beginning. The Republican Party has gutted the Voting Rights Act and now Roe, and is coming for other rights – the right to love and marry whomever you wish, the right to contraceptives, etc. The radical agenda of the Republican right must be stopped, and there is only one way to do that:  get angry, get mobilized, and get voting.

Elections have consequences, and we know this because, in New Jersey, the right to an abortion was codified into New Jersey state law last year by Governor Murphy and the Democratic-majority state legislature. However, millions of women across the country will now face a far different reality. We must rise up against the tide of radical conservatism that the Republican Party now represents and vote to defeat every single GOP enabler of this agenda.  Let us be clear: the Republican Party respects neither legal precedent nor women’s rights. The only way to stop them is at the ballot box. Take your anger and make it count.” 


TRENTON, NJ – Following today’s historic bipartisan confirmation vote sending Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, NJDSC Chairman LeRoy Jones is releasing the following statement: 

“In February President Biden fulfilled his campaign promise to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court and today, she was confirmed by the United States Senate in a bipartisan vote that represents a major step forward for equality. Judge Jackson is tremendously qualified as an accomplished lawyer, public defender, and distinguished federal judge. She has proven to be a brilliant legal mind with impeccable character, integrity, and understanding of the law and will make the Supreme Court better reflect the diversity of New Jersey and our nation. I commend Senator Booker and Senator Menendez for championing Judge Jackson’s historic nomination, and I especially want to thank Senator Booker for his impassioned remarks defending Judge Jackson in the wake of absurd partisan attacks.  

I also want to recognize the incredible fortitude and grace Judge Jackson showed during her confirmation hearings in the face of a barrage of partisan attacks and bad faith arguments from Republican Senators. Black women everywhere understand the disrespectful treatment that Judge Jackson was forced to endure, because they see it in their own lives all too often. This confirmation is a testament to the key role women of color play in our most important institutions as well as our society, and seeing Judge Jackson take her place on the Supreme Court will be a day-long remembered as a reflection of the progress America is making toward full equality and equity for all.” 


TRENTON — Governor Phil Murphy today endorsed Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh for re-election, encouraging voters to support the Mayor in the May 10 municipal election.

“Since taking office, Mayor Sayegh has led the City of Paterson with integrity and purpose. He promoted economic development by creating good-paying jobs, supporting small businesses, encouraging tourism through Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park,  and restoring the historic Hinchliffe Stadium, among other achievements.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Sayegh was a strong partner in keeping the people of Paterson safe and healthy. He broadened access to testing, set up community vaccination sites at houses of worship, and communicated vital public health information clearly to residents. Paterson is one of the most highly-vaccinated cities in New Jersey in no small part due to the Mayor’s relentless efforts.

“Andre knows that Paterson’s best days are ahead and shares my vision for a safe, affordable, and family-friendly city that serves all its residents. I encourage the voters of Paterson to re-elect Mayor Sayegh on May 10 and keep moving the city forward.”


March 16, 2022

Jaime Harrison
Chairman, Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Chairman Harrison:

The Democratic Party performs best when it succeeds in engaging new voters representing the future of our country. The selection of additional early primary states in 2006 that better represented the diversity of the nation and our party was a prudent acknowledgment of the need for this kind of engagement. In that spirit, I write today to ask you to consider making New Jersey one of the first presidential primary states as the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee considers modernizing its primary calendar.

Moving to a new, modernized presidential nominating system would send a strong message that the Democratic Party is focused not on the past, but on the future. Our party cannot cling to outdated traditions that do not help us reach new voters and motivate the diverse coalition of supporters needed to win elections and enact our pro-middle class agenda.

New Jersey has everything that our party needs to fulfill this important role. Our state is noteworthy for its compact size as the fourth-smallest state in the nation, which would save candidates valuable travel time and resources and encourage the kind of retail campaigning that has always been a hallmark of the Democratic presidential primary process.

New Jersey is as diverse as any state in the nation, with a population that is 15% Black, 10% Asian American, and 21% Latino – proportions that are significantly higher among registered Democrats voting in a primary. Our Latino community is particularly diverse, with large populations ranging from recent immigrants to first, second, and third-generation residents whose ancestry can be traced back to countries and regions such as Cuba, Central America, South America, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and
Mexico, among others. As the home of Ellis Island, New Jersey also has a long and storied tradition of welcoming immigrants throughout our history. This striking level of diversity makes New Jersey truly representative of the Democratic Party and the current and future American electorate.

New Jersey also has a unique degree of geographic diversity. We are widely considered to be one of the most suburban states in the nation, but are also home to some of the most densely populated municipalities in the country, in addition to rural communities in Northwest and South Jersey. No other state affords its residents the opportunity to wake up in a city, spend the day hiking on a rural trail or mountain, and then enjoy an oceanfront view for dinner the way that New Jersey does — making our state the ideal proving ground for political candidates across urban, suburban, and rural settings. In many ways, we are truly a microcosm of the country.

New Jersey also embodies many of our party’s core values. We are a proud union state with over 600,000 active union members representing over 16% of New Jersey’s workforce, a significantly higher percentage than the national average of 10%. Our party has been proud to partner with unions like the American Federation of Teachers; New Jersey Education Association; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU); Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Building and Construction
Trades, SEIU, and many other labor groups. We are also a proudly pro-choice and pro-LGBTQI rights state that unabashedly believes that we must protect everyone’s reproductive rights and serve as a welcoming home for all.

A longtime primary state, New Jersey has come a long way in making voting easier and more convenient. Through the leadership of Governor Phil Murphy, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, and our Legislature, New Jersey has expanded access to vote by mail, implemented automatic voter registration, enacted online voter registration, instituted in-person early voting, restored voting rights to individuals on probation, and parole, and taken many other steps to strengthen our democracy.

Beyond New Jersey’s many unique attributes, we also hold meaningful political relevance. New Jersey lies at the center of our party’s efforts to protect our majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, with four frontline incumbent Democrats whose victories are critical to that mission. Our state is home to many suburban voters who have been driven away from the Republican Party by Trumpism and are now helping the Democratic Party achieve a governing majority, as well as many progressive grassroots advocates who have taken an active role in protecting our democracy through civic engagement. We also hold the distinction of being one of the few states that conduct off-year gubernatorial elections, making us a national bellwether that often signals coming political tides.

It is time for the Democratic Party to move boldly into the future with a presidential primary calendar that reflects the diversity of our party and nation. Let’s make New Jersey one of the first primary states, and set up future Democratic Party presidential nominees for long-term success.


LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.
New Jersey Democratic State Committee

cc: Lorraine Miller, Co-Chair, DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee
James Roosevelt, Jr., Co-Chair, DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee
Members of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee

TRENTON, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy today endorsed U.S. Representative Donald Payne, Jr., in the upcoming Democratic primary election in the 10th District, which includes parts of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties. Praising Congressman Payne’s record of delivering for working families, Governor Murphy enthusiastically backed the veteran Democrat and believes that his leadership is essential on major federal projects that are critical for New Jersey’s future, like the Gateway Program. 

“Congressman Payne is a fighter for working families who stands up for our communities every day. He’s never failed to deliver – from helping create 400,000 middle-class, union jobs at major infrastructure projects, to ensuring that lifesaving cancer screenings are covered by Medicare, to providing funding to remove lead pipes from homes in our cities to protecting a woman’s right to choose, to supporting much-needed funding for COVID-19 response and Hurricane Ida recovery and much more,” said Governor Murphy. “A lifelong Newark resident, Congressman Payne understands the challenges that our urban communities face and is absolutely the right leader to continue delivering the resources we need to keep our neighborhoods safe, create more good-paying job opportunities, and protect our rights and our values. I’m eager to support Congressman Payne’s re-election and look forward to continuing to work closely with him to deliver for the people of Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties.” 

Congressman Payne thanked Governor Murphy for his endorsement and praised his leadership, saying: “I’m so thankful to have a Governor like Phil Murphy who has a real record of progress. Governor Murphy is a champion for New Jersey’s working families, delivering on issues like raising the minimum wage, protecting workers’ rights, expanding health care coverage, and always getting the job done here in New Jersey. I’m proud to have Governor Murphy’s support and to call him a friend and a partner. Together, we will keep fighting for the people of the 10th District.” 


TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair LeRoy Jones, Jr., is releasing the following statement on Governor Phil Murphy’s budget address:

“Today, Governor Murphy laid out a comprehensive vision that will continue to put New Jersey on a path to a stronger, fairer, and more affordable future. The Governor’s annual budget address included numerous announcements that all of our residents can rally behind, regardless of partisanship or parochial interests. Whether that’s providing direct property tax relief to nearly two million homeowners and renters, building thousands of units of affordable housing, expanding health care coverage for our children, increasing funding for our public schools, investing more in higher education, keeping our communities safe by reducing gun violence or once again fully funding the state’s pension system, these are some of our state’s bedrock values and Governor Murphy is showing true leadership by addressing them. 

I am confident that our state legislative leaders and Governor Murphy will be able to work collaboratively to deliver on these promises and on other important priorities, to produce a state budget that lives up to our values and keeps our state on a path to success. We owe it to the working and middle-class families of our state who have dealt with so many struggles over the past two years to deliver progress, and with this budget announcement we are clearly on the path to meeting that mandate and this moment.” 


TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair LeRoy Jones, Jr.,  is releasing the following statement praising President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address:

“In some of the most trying and difficult times in recent memory, President Joe Biden showed tonight the kind of strength and leadership we all need to continue to move America forward. The President’s State of the Union address laid out a strong policy agenda that will lower costs for Americans, while Republicans continue to push a misguided plan to raise taxes on seniors, people with disabilities, low-income families, and other vulnerable groups. It’s hard to picture a clearer contrast and a more pressing reason why we must elect Democrats in November. 

Thinking back to where we were when President Biden took office — millions of people out of work, COVID-19 ravaging our communities, and the country’s reputation on the international stage in shambles — the progress we have made is remarkable. President Biden has presided over the fastest economic growth since 1984.  We are seeing historic job creation, and now, thanks to his bipartisan infrastructure plan, we will be creating thousands of quality, union jobs, fixing over 65,000 miles of roads and 1,500 bridges across the country, and improving our airports, rail, waterways, broadband access, clean water infrastructure and much more. With COVID-19 numbers steadily declining, our leaders can make responsible decisions to ease public health mandates and allow us to return to a more normal life. Finally, we are holding Russia accountable for its unjust invasion of Ukraine with crippling sanctions that are wrecking their economy and with tactical support for the Ukrainians. President Biden continues to be the strong leader we elected in 2020. 

There is much more to do to keep wages up and lower costs so working families can get ahead, and we can count on President Biden to keep fighting for us. Now we need Congress to enact his agenda, and we need Democrats to rise up and fight to retain our congressional majorities in November. We will not stop working to make sure we reach those goals, because the stakes are too high not to. 

Finally, I would like to recognize the strength and resolve of the Ukrainian government and people as the world continues to pray for the families remaining there and those here in New Jersey, the United States, and around the world.”