Four years ago, when the New Jersey Democratic establishment largely lined up behind Hillary Clinton for president, Bernie Sanders still drew a prime campaign chairman: John Wisniewski, a longtime assemblyman and former state party chairman.
This time, three top-flight progressive operatives have stepped to organize New Jersey in Sanders’ second bid for the Democratic presidential nomination: New Jersey People’s Organization chairman Larry Hamm, former SEIU national political director Patricia Campos Medina and Our Revolution New Jersey chairman Barry Brendel.
Hamm will serve as state chairman; Campos Medina and Brendel will be vice chairs.
Analilia Mejia, the former executive director of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, is serving as Sanders’ national political director.
Mejia told the New Jersey Globe that Hamm, Campos Medina and Brendel are part of a committee aimed at getting Sanders elected and was not organized by the national Sanders for President campaign.
Most New Jersey Democrats are already backing favorite son Cory Booker, but there are some exceptions.
Former Neptune mayor Michael Beson, who ran New Jersey for Howard Dean in 2004 and Martin O’Malley in 2016, is organizing New Jersey for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), along with political strategist Justin Shoham.
Editor’s note: The Sanders campaign says that this is part of a grassroots movement to organize New Jersey but is not an official campaign committee.