The Robinson Disintegration

Robinson

Chip Robinson is resigning as Morris County Democratic chair.

Here is his statement.

“Today, I advised Governor Phil Murphy, New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, Congressman Tom Malinowski, and other state and county leaders that I will be resigning effective (at) a special meeting in early May as chair of the Morris County Democratic Committee, and expect the MCDC Executive Board to do the same. The special meeting will be announced in the next few days to elect a new chair and executive board.

“I am grateful for all of the hard work my team has put into making Morris County more Democratic. I am proud of all the gains we have made in electing Democratic candidates at all levels, from flipping two congressional seats in 2018, to President Biden’s Morris County win in 2020, to winning municipal seats throughout the county. We have nearly doubled the municipal seats that we had nearly a decade ago when I first became chair and control over significantly more towns. More importantly, I am humbled by the trust Morris County Democrats have put in our team these last eight years.

“It is my hope that we elect a woman to be the next chair of the Morris County Democrats. Morris County Democrats have never had a female chair in their history. Women have been the backbone of Morris County and have powered the success of MCDC during my tenure as chair. A large majority of our committee is now female. I hope to help my successor build on the success we have had at the congressional and local levels and help achieve our ultimate goal of winning countywide offices.

“We look forward to working with the new team to make the leadership transition as seamless as possible and to continue the gains we have made for Democrats across Morris County.”

It’s been an eventful ride for Robinson, a lifelong county resident who’s been involved with the Morris Dems for almost two decades.

When Robinson became chair, the notion of Democrats winning local congressional races was very much a fantasy. There were years when the Dems’ congressional candidate in Morris was just a name on the ballot.

But now, both members of the House representing the county are Democrats – Sherrill in CD-11 and Malinowski in CD-7. The registration gap also has narrowed to about 17,000 and Democrats have been successful winning municipal seats in once very Republican terrain like the Chathams, Morris Township and Mountain Lakes, although the GOP did regain control of Chatham Township last fall.

Robinson also picked well. As was often mentioned whenever the governor came to Morris, Robinson was the first county chair to endorse Phil Murphy when he first ran in 2017.

But recently, all has not been rosy.

Robinson, who in “real life” is an attorney, has been fighting with a one-time ally, Ed Correa in Dover. Correa is seeking reelection to the local governing body without backing from the Morris County Democrats.

One of the Democrats’ county commission candidates last fall, A.J. Oliver of Morristown, was essentially written out of the party when his pro-life views surfaced. He is now a Republican. That prompted some in the county organization to criticize Robinson for not sufficiently vetting Oliver in the first place.

Last year’s election was not a good one for Democrats and Morris was no exception. The biggest disappointment was the loss of Democratic Mayor Michael Soriano in Parsippany, the county’s largest town.

Leroy Jones

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., released the following

statement:

“This morning, Morris County Chairman Chip Robinson informed me that he was stepping down from his role as Chair in order to focus on his job responsibilities. The Morris County Democratic Committee will hold a Special Meeting in the next weeks to select a new Chair and new Executive Board.

“I want to thank Chairman Robinson and his entire team for their extraordinary service to Morris County these past few years. It is because of their leadership that Morris County made gains in some very Republican places and carried the county for Joe Biden in 2020. Through their hard work, Morris County has seen record Democratic registrations and turnout over the last 5 years, has flipped two congressional seats, and worked hard to deliver a win for Governor Murphy.

“I look forward to working with the new Chair and new Executive team to help re-elect Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill and Congressman Tom Malinowski, and to help get Democrats get elected up and down the ballot in Morris County.”

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