TRENTON, N.J. – On Friday, NJGOP U.S. Senate nominee Rikin Mehta announced that he isn’t seeking the endorsement of the powerful New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The organization had sent Mehta a survey with a short scheduled turnaround for his screening interview; recognizing the charade, Mehta fired off a letter back to the NJEA announcing his intention to opt out of the rigged process.
“I may be a political outsider who is new to this process, but it’s not lost on me that your intention was to endorse Senator Booker whether you met with me or not,” wrote Mehta. “As a son of an educator and an adjunct professor myself, I am not interested in being made a prop by New Jersey’s most notorious special interest group. Moreover, as the first Indian American to ever win a primary nomination for a statewide office in New Jersey, your lack of respect and consideration won’t go unnoticed by an increasingly important community in our state.”
Mehta also outlined his educational agenda including advocacy for school choice, something that is anathema to the teacher’s union.
“I look forward to taking my campaign direct to your membership and engaging in thoughtful conversations with educators and school faculty across the state about how we can improve education, increase teacher pay, and free school staff from the grip of an organization who clearly cares more about advancing their own political influence than they do the interests of their members,” added Mehta.
NJEA activism is a leading force in state politics, and their political activity (partially funded by membership dues) has made the difference in more than one race in favor of the Democrat candidate.
The last time a statewide GOP nominee publicly told the NJEA to pound sand and pledge to circumvent the leadership was Christie Christie during his initial 2009 run for governor.
Click here to read Mehta’s letter.