NJEA disses female Republican teacher in battleground LD4

August 7, 2023

Save Jersey

By Matt Rooney

New Jersey (Mis)Education Association endorsements may not mean much to Save Jersey readers, but they do tell us something about the state of play heading into a general election.

On Saturday, the NJEA issued its list of fall legislative endorsements which included only 10 Republicans across all 40 districts. Only four of those Republicans (three of which are incumbents) are running in battleground districts, and concessions to the GOP in those districts – LD2 and LD8 – strongly suggest that the Democrat coalition’s hopes of retaking territory in either are waning. In fact, Democrats just swapped out their LD2 candidate.

The South Jersey Democrat Alamo for Election 2023 is clearly LD4 (Gloucester, Camden, and a sliver of Atlantic) where Democrats are defending an open Senate seat in a swing district that grew redder in redistricting. The NJEA stuck with the Machine this year, endorsing Paul D. Moriarty for Senate and Cody Miller and Dan Hutchison for Assembly.

In doing so, the teacher’s union snubbed one of its own members: Amanda Esposito, a Republican running for Assembly who is running alongside Senate hopeful Chris Del Borrello and fellow Assembly nominee Matt Walker.

“As a career educator and current public school teacher, I respectfully know more about the current state of public education and the issues facing students, teachers, and parents in New Jersey schools than our three opponents combined,” said Esposito, a Pitman middle school teacher, in a statement shared with this website. “Make no mistake, the decision by the NJEA’s political leadership to snub a young woman, a teacher, and an NJEA-member is a direct result of my support for parental rights and opposition to Attorney General Matt Platkin’s decision to force teachers to keep secrets from parents about their own kids; and my opposition to age-inappropriate sex-ed curriculum standards. We should be empowering parents, not pushing them away. We should be educating our children, not indoctrinating them.”

Esposito also accused the notorious public sector union of having mixed up priorities. It’s a hard point to dispute given that NJEA spent $52.6 million on Trenton lobbying alone between 2000 to 2022.

“Frankly, I don’t believe the NJEA’s political leadership shares the values of an overwhelming number of their own members,” added the candidate. “They are out-of-step and out-of-touch, but a lot of people are afraid to speak out against them. Hopefully, their treatment of me encourages more people to make their voices heard. Teachers deserve an organization focused on what’s best for teachers and students, not one that has become focused on what’s best for its top brass and the extreme political ideology they embrace and seek to force upon the rest of us.”

A point Esposito didn’t raise: the NJEA spends a ton of time touting the important of diversity, too, but just endorsed three white guys in LD4. Guess we know how sincere all of those talking points actually are!