Rep. Donald Payne Jr. isn’t ready to back Essex County Chairman LeRoy Jones or State Democratic Chairman John Currie if the two end up facing off for control of New Jersey’s Democratic party.
“I’m looking at it and I want to see what happens. Naturally, he is my chairman in Essex County, and he’s worked well with me, so we’re going to have to see,” Payne said. “He’s indicated that he really wanted to run, but if it comes to him, it’ll come to him. We’ll see what happens. Mr. Currie is a dear friend. He’s been good to me as well, so we’re going to have to see how that plays out.”
Jones has yet to announce a bid for the state chairmanship, though he told the New Jersey Globe in December that he would run ‘if drafted’ for the position.
His statements led to Democratic leaders around the state drawing battle lines, with roughly equal numbers of county chairs backing both Currie and Jones.
Essex County comprises the bulk of the 10th congressional district, though the district also covers parts of Hudson and Union Counties.