As Expected, Jones Turns to Ocean Dems Delegate as His Running Mate

Essex County Democrats Chairman Leroy Jones
Marta Harrison
Marta Harrison

Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones is running for the state party chairmanship with Marta Harrison, the former mayor of Lakewood.

InsiderNJ noted last week that Jones would go in that direction as a consequence of Ocean County Democratic Chair Wyatt Earp’s endorsement of Jones over sitting Chaiman John Currie for the chairmanship of the party.

From that story:

Backroom door-hopping the state, Governor Phil Murphy’s allies believed they had cemented Earp’s support for Currie, but evidently underestimated the power of the Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3)-Norcross-affiliated Building Trades to control their own. Subsequent to Earp’s endorsement, Murphy forces hung their hopes on those committee members who might zigzag in their direction from underneath the influence of Earp, but a Jones ally said the Essex Chairman’s operatives had corralled those votes, too. What was the payoff? A vice chairmanship of the party for Ocean, most likely to a woman with public sector labor ties. The names circulating: Marta Harrison, Sarah Collins, and Eileen Della Volle.

He went with Harrison.

The Essex County chairman and Ocean Democratic Committee member are challenging a ticket composed of incumbent Currie and running mate Peg Schaffer, the vice chair of the Democratic Committee.

The challenger and his allies say they have more than 50 votes to secure the chairmanship of the party from Currie, who incurred the ire of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) when he backed Phil Murphy for Governor. But Currie last night at the Tropicana told allies he was still very much in the game and confident of his and Schaffer’s ability to respectively secure the chairmanship and vice chairmanship.

As he entered a New Jersey Eduation Association (NJEA) function, the state party chairman crossed paths with Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19), whose Middlesex County Chairman, Kevin McCabe, stoutly backs Jones for the chairmanship of the party.  Coughlin and Currie exchanged greetings.


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