Listen to audio version of this article
Rumors of the political demise of Essex County Freeholder President Brendan Gill proved greatly exaggerated, as his colleagues tonight returned Gill to a third term upon the board throne.
In an alternative political universe, Gill was supposed to be collateral damage in the state chair’s fight between sitting Chair John Currie and Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones, a consequence of the latter – win or lose – punishing Gill, Governor Phil Murphy’s minder, for backing Currie over himself.
But Currie and Jones resolved their political differences without the requirement of a human sacrifice in the form of Gill.
So the freeholder president again assumed the oath of office tonight with Jones – slated to take the reins of the state party chairmanship after Currie’s term expires – happily in attendance. Part of the we-all-love-each-other-after-all theater piece is said to include an imminent endorsement by Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo of Murphy’s 2021 reelection.
As previously reported on InsiderNJ, New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman Currie and Essex County Democratic Chairman Jones announced an agreement regarding the future leadership of the state party. After considerable saber rattling, Jones backed Chairman Currie and Vice Chair Peg Schaffer in the upcoming election for a new term leading the party. That term will expire in June of 2021, and Chairman Currie will support Chairman Jones to succeed him in the position at that time, with Vice Chair Schaffer as his running mate.