In special run-off elections this week, three more graduates of the New Jersey AFL-CIO’s Labor Candidates School posted victories. Since it was founded in 1997, 608 alumni of the unique program have won state or local offices, including New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney, a member of Ironworkers Local 399.
The latest union-member/public officials are:
- Ray Greaves, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 819, who was elected to ther Bayonne City Council.
- Marge Caldwell-Wilson, Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1087, elected to the Trenton City Council.
- Tony Mack, Laborers (LIUNA) Local 595, elected Mayor of Trenton.
The school gives union members an opportunity to learn campaign basics, including fundraising, election law, and public speaking and media relations. Says New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech:
We give them the basic skills and support, and the goal is to help them win in the lower races and have them move up. With every labor candidate victory, the voice of the New Jersey labor movement continues to grow stronger.
In the upcoming fall elections, 44 union members are on the ballot, 24 incumbents and 20 first-time challengers.