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Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

Murphy, Booker headline Democratic State Convention

Nearly 900 on hand for opening night in Atlantic City

By Nikita Biryukov, September 20 2018 10:56 pm

New Jersey Democrats launched their annual statewide conference in Atlantic City Friday with rally-style speeches from Gov. Phil Murphy, US. Senator Cory Booker, and Democratic State Chairman John Currie.

Much of those speeches’ content focused on energizing the audience over the years’ elections.

“We’ve got to execute. Forty-six days to go. We’ve got to play the game. We’ve got to get out there. We’ve got to knock on that extra door, send that extra email, meet that neighbor, or whatever it may be – take that last person, that extra person to the polls,” Murphy said. “Every single race, every single vote in those races will matter and count.”

State committee officials said attendance at the event was the highest in history for the New Jersey State Committee’s conferences, though exact tallies for ticket sales given by members of the state committee varied, from between 900 to 1,700.

The night’s event saw somewhat lighter attendance of roughly 860, a fact Currie attributed to many not wanting to stay the night for the next day’s events.

He expects attendance to balloon for Friday’s events, when Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez will give a lunchtime speech.

Twelve Democratic County Chairmen were on hand, as well as Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark and Michael Soriano of Parsippany.

In addition to pushing the re-elections of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and the state’s Democratic House delegates, Booker touched on what he deemed a moral moment at the heart of the year’s contests.

“We are in a moral moment in America,” Booker said. “This is not about left or right. This is about right or wrong. We are in a moral moment in America. The values we all hold dear – Republican, Democrat, Independent – are suffering the moral vandalism that’s coming from Washington … These next 46 days are perhaps the most defining days of my lifetime. they are leading into an election that will not speak to what party controls the House or the Senate, but they’ll speak to who we are as a nation.”

Voters, he said, will have a chance to send their message come November 6.

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