Asked at his afternoon briefing to react to criticism that the Democratic selections for the redistricting commission lack diversity, Governor Murphy responded that ‘I’m a big believer in diversity, and I acknowledge and take the question and the point’.
Advocacy groups have decried the lack of a Latina and lack of an African-American woman among the Democratic picks.
He said he was ‘gratified’ to see NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda selected as a lead staffer on the commission, which ‘represents some significant step in the right direction as it relates to diversity’.
Pivoting to the state in general, the Governor said New Jersey is the ‘most diverse state in the nation’ and said his administration has aspired to put a ‘diverse set of folks on the field every day in the history of the state’.
The Democratic picks are:
LeRoy Jones – Essex County Democratic Committee Chair
Gary Taffet – Middlesex County power broker
Steve Sweeney – Senate President
Cosmo Cirillo – West New York Commissioner
Diane Testa – Fairview Administrator
Protecting Sweeney, who resides in a red zone of the state;
Tweaking state Senator Joe Lagana (D-38);
Tweaking state senator Joe Cryan (D-20).
Hard to make significant incursions.
Do they squeeze state Senator Ronald Rice (D-28)? Do they squeeze Senator Nia Gill (D-34)?
“Someone,” a source told InsiderNJ, “will draw the short straw.”
The fact that the governor did not have a pick perturbed allies who wanted Murphy to have a stronger hand.