TRENTON— A major public safety union has jumped into New Jersey's race for governor months before it usually does to endorse Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono's candidacy.

The 16,000-member Fraternal Order of Police made decided to back the Democrat at its mini-convention late Monday, bypassing the union's traditional route of screening candidates face-to-face and making an endorsement in the fall.

Union President Ed Brannigan says Gov. Chris Christie lost his members' trust after promising as a candidate not to touch their pensions then reducing their retirement benefits and eliminating retirees' cost-of-living increases after being elected.

Buono was endorsed by another public safety union, the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, last month.

Christie has the support of the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association.

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