A major New Jersey liberal organization has withdrawn its endorsement of a Democratic candidate for local office after discovering he is pro-life.
Aaron “A.J.” Oliver is a Democratic candidate for commissioner of Morris County, N.J. – an area about 30 miles west of New York City – and had received the endorsement of NJ 11th for Change, an organization that promotes liberal causes and candidates in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District.
But after NJ 11th for Change learned Oliver opposes abortion on demand, the organization backed off its support, according to the New Jersey Globe news site.
Democrats for Life of America, a pro-life Democratic group, also has endorsed Oliver.
“Oliver did not initially disclose to his running mates that he is anti-choice and later was not forthright that he is intent on advancing those beliefs legislatively, having urged people to call their legislators to lobby against New Jersey’s Reproductive Freedom Act,” Leslie Bockol and Mara Novak, the co-executive directors of NJ 11th for Change, said, according to the New Jersey Globe.
The dispute may have been due to a misunderstanding. Oliver, on a NJ 11th for Change form, indicated he was “pro-women” and “feminist” – labels embraced by many pro-lifers nationwide.
“Given the revelation that Oliver’s position is far removed from what most of us would consider ‘pro-woman’ or ‘feminist,’ we feel strongly that continuing to endorse this candidate would be a betrayal of our members’ values, which are and have always been overwhelmingly pro-choice,” Bockol and Novak told their members on Facebook. “Moreover, Oliver’s lack of transparency with his team and running mates, and then with us, is antithetical to our organization’s core values.”
Thousands of people in the county already have voted early, according to the New Jersey Globe.
The news site described NJ 11th for Change as “one of the premier unaffiliated grassroots organizations in the state,” although Democrats have not won a countywide election since 1973.
“[NJ 11th for Change] played a major role in forcing House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen to retire in 2018 and flip a House seat after 24 years of Republican control,” the news site said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Michael B. Thomas/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.