The former head of the Communications Worker of America New Jersey chapter – Hetty Rosenstein – will be a senior advisor for Gov. Phil Murphy’s reelection campaign as he squares off against the presumptive Republican nominee, former state Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli during the November reelection.
Rosenstein, who headed the state’s largest public workers union for 14 years, started working April 26 as a senior advisor for “progressive coalitions and outreach,” the Murphy campaign announced on April 28.
Murphy called her “a force of nature for organized labor” in the state, and continued that she “has a deep understanding of what it takes to build a winning coalition.”
“I could not be more proud to work for a campaign that embraces diverse voices and New Jersey’s progressive leaders,” Rosenstein said in a prepared statement. “The values that have united us and moved New Jersey forward over the last three-plus years will create a mandate for even greater change and progress.”
Ciattarelli has focused his public messaging on Murphy’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to widespread business closures, mass joblessness and an overburdened unemployment system, and nursing and veteran’s homes fatalities amid the pandemic.
But Democrats hold a sizable advantage in the state, having over 700,000 more registered voters than there are Republicans.
And Murphy’s campaign and the state Democratic party have tied Ciattarelli to former President Donald Trump, a toxic name in state politics.
Pat Murray, who heads Monmouth University Polling Institute, suggested in a December interview that the efforts of Ciattarelli to win the support of “a very right-wing Republican Party” ahead of the June primaries could alienate them from New Jersey’s broader voting population. And that, Murray said, could be the angle of attack for Murphy’s campaign and the Democratic party.
“If we get a Republican primary candidate that’s all about gun rights and abortion, that’s a hard sell to turn around in the general election… it opens the strategy for the Murphy campaign, even if Murphy is not as popular in November as he is right now … he says regardless, this person is not acceptable.”
That interview was before the Jan. 6 U.S. Capital riots to stop then-President-elect Joe Biden’s Congressional approval as president, fueled mainly by Trump’s unfounded allegations of voter fraud.