Poised to run for clerk of Passaic County and runwayed through December to remain on point as Democratic State Party Chairman, John Currie may try to saddle up for another tour of duty in the statewide slot, a Democratic source told InsiderNJ.
“Remember, he was the first one out there,” said the source, referring to Currie’s endorsement of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy.
Murphy has promised to have the back of New Jersey voters – but he’ll definitely have Currie’s back, the source insisted.
There’s a discernible history there.
The state party chairman, who doubles as Passaic County Democratic Committee chair, failed to nail down his goddaughter, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35) for the position of lieutenant governor candidate on Murphy’s ticket.
The fact that he lost to the Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-34)-backing Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones may have momentarily stung – and broken the hearts of Sumter fans – also put Currie on sounder footing for his chairmanship if he ants it back, the source said.
For some time there was some inner sanctum party parlor room talk about Jones standing down to allow Oliver to be the LG pick, in exchange for him landing the chairmanship and Sumter nabbing LG. Now that Oliver beat Sumter for LG, the pendulum has swung back to a reconsideration of Currie re-upping as state chairman.
A second source doubled down.
“John running for another term,” he said of the chairman, who has served since 2013.
The source was adamant on the subject, all but ruling out Vice Chair Lizette Delgado Polanco’s imminent ascent. Of course, Currie has clanged heads hard with South Jersey and in particular Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3). Not everyone may be thrilled about his return, but talks are in progress. Of note late today was the fact that Passaic had not yet signed onto the Craig Coughlin for Speaker deal.
With Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36) failing to land the speakership, the state chairmanship may be Passaic’s booby prize, a source said, and Currie would want to keep the throne for himself.
Two sources insisted Murphy would be inclined to want to back Currie.
“[Murphy Campaign Manager] Brendan [Gill] knows it would open up a can of worms to go to someone else,” one of the sources said.