Some of New Jersey’s most influential women leaders have signed a letter endorsing Governor Phil Murphy’s nomination of Matt Platkin as attorney general, a move meant to send a signal to some members of the state Senate that Platkin benefits considerable support among prominent women. in the state Democratic Party.
“Matt Platkin is deeply committed to reproductive rights, personal and family leave, workers’ rights, social, economic and racial justice, equality for all, ethical conduct and good government,” said the group. “We support Governor Murphy in this choice and urge the New Jersey Senate to quickly confirm this nomination.”
The list of 51 women is armed with considerable firepower and includes grassroots activists, fundraisers, union and elected party leaders and potentially eases the way for senators to back her confirmation despite some bubbles.
Signatories to the letter, made as individuals and not on behalf of their affiliated organizations, include former New Jersey State CWA Director Hetty Rosenstein, Democratic National Committee member Marcia Marley, executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action, Dena Mottola Jaborska, the executive director of the New Jersey Working Families Party. Sue Altman, and Jeannine LaRuewho has played a major role in New Jersey politics since the 1970s as one of the state’s first influential women.
Women who play key roles in New Jersey’s labor movement also support Platkin: New Jersey AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan; Fran Ehret, CWA State Director; Petal Robinson, secretary-treasurer of the New Jersey Education Association; Estina Baker, CWA National Officer; Donna Chiera, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Deb Coyle, executive director of the New Jersey Labor-Environmental Alliance; Rutgers URA-AFT President Christine O’Connell; Michele Liebtag, Political Director of CWA Local 1036; and Marie Blistan, the former president of the NJEA.
Political veterans, including: Democratic central Maggie Moran; Camden County NAACP President-elect Moneke Ragsdale; Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach; South Orange Village President Sheena Cullum; Laura Matos, president of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission; former Sussex County Democratic Chairman Leslie Hahn; former RWJBarnabas Health Executive Vice President Michellene Davis; lobbyist Idida Rodriguez; lobbyist Patricia Zita; Gina Trish, Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver; and Shawn Kathryn Laurenti, who has spent more than three decades as a New Jersey political insider, were signatories to the letter.
The letter also includes young Democratic rising stars like Alana Burman, Imani Hamm, Emi Quisby and Elizabeth Coulter, who worked with Platkin for 18 months as a top aide in Murphy’s 2017 gubernatorial campaign.
Among the activists pushing for Platkin’s confirmation: Action Together New Jersey executive director Winn Khuong; Julie Borst, executive director of Save Our Schools; Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, president of New Jersey Citizen Action, Liz Glynn, director of the organization, and Yarrow Willman-Cole, director of the workplace justice program; Elycia Lerman, undivided member of the Lambertville Board of Directors; and Laura Zurfluh, founder of Indivisible Cranbury.
Myra Terry, the founder of the National Organization for Women of New Jersey, endorsed Platkin, along with NOW NJ President Anjali Mehrotra and Merrill Mezzacapa, and Truscha Quatrone, former Morris County Democratic Vice President and Director executive of Emerge NJ,
Several prominent women in the private sector also signed Platkin’s letter, including Wendy Saiff; Cathy Brienza; Jill LaZare, Teresia Bost and Pam Miller,
Joyce Harley, former president of South Orange Village, Lacey Rzeszowski, Jean Simonetta, Janice Roots, Cathy Danalos and Kathleen Bence are also on the letter supporting Platkin.
The massive list of mentions could blunt criticism of Platkin’s response to allegations that a senior Murphy campaign official in 2017 sexually assaulted a volunteer and was hired for an administration job anyway.
Katie Brennan, who says she was raped during Murphy’s 2017 campaign by Al Alvarez, a senior campaigns executive who later became chief of staff at the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. Brennan has called Platkin’s nomination “deeply disappointing.”
Senate Minority Leader Steve Oroho (R-Franklin) and Michael Doherty (R-Oxford), the ranking minority member on the Judiciary Committee, said they had a ‘thorough verification of Platkin’ before a vote to confirm it.
Murphy nominated Platkin, a partner of Lowenstein Sandler, seven days ago to serve as New Jersey’s 56th attorney general. He is expected to become acting attorney general on Monday pending action by the state Senate.