The New Jersey Education Association’s political action committee has endorsed Amy Kennedy, of Brigantine, in this year’s Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District race.

The 125-member NJEA PAC based its decision on the recommendations of a screening committee made up of NJEA members in the district, a spokesman said Monday night.

Kennedy is a former Northfield Community School teacher and NJEA member who now works on mental health issues.

“Our members know an advocate when they see one, and that’s what they see in Amy Kennedy,” NJEA President Marie Blistan said. “I know that Amy will keep the promises made to educators and make sure that at the end of their careers, New Jersey’s public school employees can count on retirement benefits we earn during a long career of service.”

“As an educator herself, she understands the day-to-day challenges faced by NJEA members and she shares our commitment to keeping our public schools strong and successful,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller.

In a statement, Kennedy said she will stand up for teachers in Congress.

“As a former public school teacher, a product of South Jersey public schools and the daughter of educators, I’m honored to have earned the support of my fellow educators and advocates,” said Kennedy. “In Congress, it will be my privilege to stand up for the women and men across the country who do tireless work on behalf of our children and families every day.”

Kennedy, who also has the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America, is in a tight primary race with Brigid Harrison, of Longport, a professor of law and politics at Montclair State University in Essex County.

Harrison was endorsed in March by the American Federation of Teachers’ New Jersey’s Delegate Assembly.

The Atlantic County Democratic Convention and the Atlantic City Democratic Committee voted to support Kennedy, while six of eight county Democratic chairmen in the district support Harrison.

Harrison has been endorsed by many labor unions, including Unite Here Local 54; by Democratic U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, state Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Salem, Gloucester, Cumberland; and by Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, D-Atlantic.

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Twitter @MichelleBPost

Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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