Listen to audio version of this article
In a sign of the sideways condition of the Democratic Party after talks broke down to avoid a fight over who will serve as state chair, Governor Phil Murphy today responded to the news of Essex County Leroy Jones’ formal entrance into the race for Democratic State Committee chair.
“John Currie and Peg Schaffer have been my partners in revitalizing our Democratic Party and I’ll stack our record of success against anyone’s,” Murphy said, referring to his choice for the chairmanship and his running mate. “Working together has resulted in unprecedented victories at the local, county, state and federal levels, flipping control of multiple county governments from red to blue, re-electing Senator Menendez and taking 11 of 12 Congressional seats, and so much more.
“After eight long years of Chris Christie and his enablers weakening our state and our party, I don’t know why anyone would want to go back to that,” the governor added. “We’re building a party that not only wins but wins by standing up for the values we cherish. It’s clear to me, to Democratic leaders from throughout our state, and to the grassroots activists making a difference in our communities every day that John and Peg are the right choice to continue leading our party. We aren’t walking away from that fight.”
The governor’s invocation of Christie brought to mind the strategy Hudson County Democrats used to weaken the candidacy of state senator Brian P. Stack (D-33) when he opposed Amy DeGise for the HCDO chairmanship.
Stack endorsed Republican Christie’s reelection, as did Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, a close ally of Jones and the South Jersey Democratic Party establishment.
A TV truck parked outside the special convention last year played a clip of Stack endorsing Christie, the last thing county committeemembers heard as they went o vote for DeGise over Stack.