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It proved an interesting last night at the Brownstone in Paterson, Passaic County, with both party organizations – Democrat and Republican – trying to occupy the same iconic space.
The Passaic County Dems’ victory event featured county chairs John Currie, Paul Juliano, Leroy Jones and Amy DeGise all at one table.
Currie and Jones just weathered a statewide fight for the chairmanship that Currie – with Governor Phil Murphy’s backing – retained, with the understanding that Jones will take over at the end of the sitting chair’s term.
The two looked like old friends at the front of the room, as if nothing had ever transpired between them that might have been construed as hostility.
When Governor Murphy spoke, he made a point of celebrating the power of those four chairs – Currie, Jones, DeGise and Juliano – and predicted the power of the four would deliver huge pluralities for him and Democrats.
“The quad is back,” a source said, referencing the old alliance among the northern party organizations fashioned around 2015, mildly fractured after the 2017 election of Murphy and apparently re-purposed in time for his reelection.
It was a typical chaotic Brownstone event – with a twist.
As Murphy walked out to his motorcade, in walked Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21) and former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16).
They obviously have other designs on 2021.
With a podium appearance heavy on indignation over Murphy’s tenure, Ciattarelli last week formally announced his Republican candidacy for governor.
Bramnick, for his part, has not ruled out a statewide run and told Politico he is “absolutely” thinking about opposing Murphy. His presence in Passaic arguably underscored his interest.