Committee on Political Education (COPE)

Every year, the affiliated union organizations that comprise the New Jersey State AFL-CIO vote on which election candidates to endorse based on voting records and working family issues. the New Jersey labor movement has a proud history of supporting candidates who support working families. working in partnership with the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s political department, the state’s central labor councils and affiliated local unions, the Committee on Political Education (COPE) makes every effort to educate union members and their families about these endorsements and why they were made.


Learn More About COPE

Register to Vote

Vote by Mail

Labor 2022


Everything You Need to Vote

Labor Candidates Program

Code U

Register to Vote

For more information about registering to vote, click here


You can register online. It’s easy and safe. To register online, you will need your date of birth and a driver’s license, a state non-driver Identification Card or your Social Security number. Online voter registration is available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Gujarati.

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At Motor Vehicles

If you are eligible to vote in New Jersey, you may register to vote at a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office while applying for/renewing a driver’s license or non-driver identification (ID) card.

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You can download the printable form, then fill it out and deliver it into your County Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections for your county by Oct. 12. Voter registration forms are available in English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Gujarati, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Punjabi, Hindi, European Portuguese and Arabic.

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Voting by Mail: Step by Step

A voter may vote-by-mail by completing the Application for Vote-By-Mail Ballot and returning the application to their County Clerk.

For easy, step by step instructions on how to fill out your vote by mail ballot, click the button below

Vote by Mail Instructions

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Tuesday, May 10th is Election Day in Irvington and Long Branch!



Irvington: Anthony Vauss for Mayor

Vote By Mail Ballots will be mailed by 3/26
Request a Ballot by 5/3

Election Day at Your Polling Place
Find Your Polling Location Here

Tuesday 5/10: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm

Long Branch: Mario Vieira for Council

Vote By Mail Ballots will be mailed by 3/26
Request a Ballot by 5/3

Early Voting at the Senior Center

Friday 5/6: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday 5/7: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday 5/8: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Election Day at Your Polling Place
Find Your Polling Location Here

Tuesday 5/10: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm


Voting: Easy as 1, 2 or 3

By Mail

Voting by mail is safe and convenient. You do it from the comfort of home and you can mail back your ballot.

Your mail-in ballot must be postmarked by 8 p.m. November 2, delivered in person to your county Board of Elections by 8 p.m. November 2, or placed in a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. November 2.

You CANNOT deliver your mail-in ballot to a polling place.

Ballot drop boxes

your county officials


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in Person via Early Voting

Every county will provide registered voters with the option to vote early by machine in the 2021 General Election.

Each of the 21 counties has designated in-person early voting locations that will be open Saturday, October 23, through Sunday, October 31. Hours will be Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

No appointment is necessary.

what is Early voting?

Early voting locations

in Person on Election Day

The November 2 New Jersey General Election will offer in-person voting by machine from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all registered voters who have not voted early or submitted a Vote-by-Mail ballot.

If you have received a Vote-by-Mail ballot but have not voted, you may vote only by paper provisional ballot at your polling place.

Polling places may have changed.

find my polling place

NJ Voter portal

New Jersey State AFL-CIO
 26th Annual Labor Candidates School

For over two decades, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO has recruited, trained, mentored, and campaigned on behalf of rank-and-file union members running for political office. Having achieved 1,186 election victories to date – a 77% success rate – union members proudly serve New Jersey’s working families in the U.S. House of Representatives, the State Senate and Assembly and in our counties and municipalities all across our state.

The cornerstone of our program is the Labor Candidates School. Through this school, union members gain the skills they need to succeed in the electoral arena. The school features instruction from seasoned election experts covering subjects such as fundraising, election law, campaign research and planning, message development, public speaking, media relations, voter contact, volunteer recruitment, targeting, digital strategies, current get-out-the-vote techniques and more.  The School will take place August 13 & 14, 2022, at a location to be announced.

Pursuant to the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Resolution, union members seeking election to public office must secure the support of their local union’s presiding officer, who shall then notify the Central Labor Council and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO in writing. All candidates must be reviewed by the local Central Labor Council and all first-time candidates are required to graduate from the Labor Candidates School.

Candidate Survey

Each union member seeking election to public office must complete the Labor Candidates Survey. Please contact COPE Director John Shea at or (609) 989-8730 with any questions.
Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to working closely with 2022 Labor Candidates to make the voice of working families heard on Election Day!

Labor Candidates Pledge

All Labor Candidates must sign a pledge to uphold and actively support critical labor principles.

Download Pledge

Labor Candidates Program

Want to Be a Labor Candidate?

Union members are Republicans and Democrats. That’s why we encourage union members to run through both major political parties.

No one can represent working families and their unions better than working people themselves. That’s why the New Jersey State AFL-CIO sponsors an ongoing program to recruit, train, mentor and support union brothers and sisters running for elected office. Through the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates School, union members gain the skills they need to succeed in the political arena.

Take advantage of the many resources available to support your election campaign! When union members run, working families win!!!

To learn more about the Labor Candidates Program or to enroll in the Labor Candidates School, please complete and submit the form below.

Labor Candidate Requirements

The President and Secretary/Treasurer agreed to memorialize the Board’s action describing the standards which must be met by a union member in order to be considered a New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidate. The standards are as follows:

  1. Union members seeking candidacy to elected office must notify and secure the support of their local union President/Business Manager
  2. As soon as the local union is advised of a union member’s intention to seek election to public office, the local union President/Business Manager shall notify the local Central Labor Council(s) and the New Jersey State AFL-CIO about their candidacy.
  3. After obtaining the support of the local union leadership, the union member seeking candidacy for elected office must be considered and reviewed by their local Central Labor Council and finally by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.
  4. After a positive review by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, the union member seeking candidacy for elected office must attend and graduate from the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates School. However, a union member who is the incumbent office holder and is seeking re-election to said office does not, if he or she so determines, have to attend and graduate from the Labor Candidates School. This personal investment by the union member demonstrates a commitment to represent New Jersey’s working families. Additionally, the union member must commit to work on WORKER/VOTER, member education, and Get-Out-The-Vote activities.

Labor Candidates School

The Labor Candidates School and Non-Partisan Training Seminars are the cornerstones of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s political program. At the Labor Candidates School, which is held every summer, election experts instruct union members about fund-raising and election law, research, message development, public speaking, media relations, voter contact, volunteer recruitment, targeting and get-out-the-vote. Participants are awarded full scholarships by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.

As officeholders, our graduates have championed policies that reflect the priorities of New Jersey’s working families, such as paid family leave and raising the minimum wage.

Endorsed Candidates


The list of endorsements for Congress is:


District 1
*Donald Norcross (D-01)
District 5
*Josh Gottheimer (D-05)
District 9
*Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-09)
District 2
*Jeff Van Drew (R-02)
District 6
*Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-06)
District 10
*Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10)
District 3
*Andy Kim (D-03)
District 7
*Tom Malinowski (D-07)
District 11
*Mikie Sherrill (D-11)
District 4
*Chris Smith (R-04)
District 8
Robert Menendez (D-08)
District 12
*Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12)



Endorsed Labor Candidates

Arranged by Union Affiliation:

Name  Union Office Sought
Vince Sera* AFSCME 1210 Brigantine Mayor
Dolores Witko AFSCME 1199J Closter Mayor
Hailey Cruz AFT 857 Perth Amboy Council
Tony DePrince* AFT 4907 Magnolia Council
Cynthia Simon AFT 2222/1796 Wayne Board of Education
John F. Capo*  BAC 4  Totowa Council
Jason Allen* CWA 1033 Pemberton Committee
Taiwanda Terry-Wilson CWA 1033 Trenton Council
Mark Kruszczynski CWA 1036  North Plainfield Board of Education
Karol Ruiz CWA 1037 Dover Alderman
Tassie York* CWA 1037 Neptune Committee
Cathleen Lewis CWA 1037 Mercer County Commissioner
Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg CWA 1038 Trenton Council
Nelson Carney, Jr.  CWA 1085 Salem County Commissioner
Joseph Hiles* CWA 1085 Woodstown Council
Charles Hassler IBEW 94 Salem County Commissioner
Thomas Sullivan, Jr.*  IBEW 164 Bergen County Commissioner
Bert Steinmann* IBEW 269 Ewing Mayor
Ryan Doran* IBEW 351 Cherry Hill Fire Commissioner
Donald Norcross* IBEW 351 CD 1 U.S. House of Representatives
Mike Vizzard* IBEW 351 Commercial Township Committee
Kyle Miller IBEW 351 Woodbury Mayor
Kevin Egan* IBEW 456 New Brunswick City Council
Michael Riordan* IBEW 827 Brigantine Council
Thomas Lyon* IBT 676 Delran Council
Pat Lepore* IBT 802 Passaic County Commissioner
Donald Heverly Ironworkers 399 Williamstown Council
Walt Lenkowski Ironworkers 399 Lindenwald Council
Michael McGlynn* IUOE 68 Fairfield Council
Nick Civitan* IUOE 825 Frankford Council
Ed Kalinowski IUOE 825 Deptford Board of Education
Victoria Pacheco IUOE District 1, JNESO Keyport Mayor
Rob Lane, Jr.* IUPAT 694 Neptune Committee
Ed White    LIUNA 172 Runnemede Mayor
David Bander* SEIU 1199NJ Plainsboro Committee
Roshan White* UA 24 Scotch Plains Council
Concetto Formica UBC 253 Franklin Boro Council
Kevin Goodsir UBC 253 West Milford Council
Ron Skirkanish UBC 254 Manville Council
Joe Scaletti* UBC 254 South Brunswick Board of Education
Dane Lamcken* UBC 255 Estell Manor Council
Michael Porretta* UBC 255 Folsom Council
Andrew Bulakowski UBC 255 Cape May Commissioner
Matthew Cox* UBC 441 Dennis Township Committee
Matt Kane UFCW 152 Corbin City Mayor
Nereyda Curiel* UFCW 360 Haledon Council


Our Labor Values

All workers have the right to form and join unions.

Collective Bargaining is a public good.

All workers should have the right to collectively bargain for their terms and conditions of employment.

All workers have the right to a safe and healthy work environment.

All employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace.

All workers should be paid a fair or “living” wage.


Our Labor Candidates have pledged to uphold all of these values.


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