Woodlank Park Mayor Keith Kazmark confirmed on Friday Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones’s claim that Tamara Harris, who has made being an outsider a core tenant of her congressional campaign, sought the party’s backing.
“Tamara Harris came to the American Legion in Woodland Park on December 17, 2017, and formally requested support at a meeting of the four Democratic county parties in the 11th Congressional District. She interviewed and formally asked those gathered, consisting of county leadership, municipal chairs and elected officials from throughout the district for their endorsement,” Kazmark said in an email. “The banter of an open primary only began after Ms. Harris didn’t receive the endorsement.”
Kazmark said that officials unanimously elected to back Mikie Sherrill that day.
Harris has previously contested Jones’s claim that she sought the party line and never asked for an open primary.
Sherrill’s position as the party candidate has been a prime target for Harris, who at a debate hosted by the Livingston League of Women Voters on Wednesday, repeatedly fired thinly-veiled shots at Sherrill over her party support, framing herself as an opponent of the party machine.
It’s possible those attacks will now backfire.