State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) says that LeRoy Jones, Jr. has the votes to win the race for Democratic State Chairman and thinks his party would be better off the 11-month fight is resolved as soon as possible.
“It appears that one side has the requisite number of votes to win, which should negate the need to draw this contest out further,” said Cryan, who held the post from 2006 to 2010.
The race to deny Currie re-election to the post he’s held since 2013 has been going on since last December, when Jones, the Essex County Democratic Chairman, said he would run if the support was there for him.
Jones reached the magic number of 49 ½ on Monday when Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp endorsed him. A New Jersey Globe tally of the 113-member Democratic State Committee has Jones at 55 votes and Currie at 43.
On Tuesday, Jones formally announced his candidacy.
“As a former Democratic State Committee Chairman, I have watched with some apprehension as the current race for State Party chair has occasionally devolved into personal attacks,” said Cryan, who held the post from 2006 to 2010. “I would strongly urge everyone to take a deep breath, pause and consider the cost to our Party if we do not resolve this contest quickly and with minimal rancor.”
Cryan is the second ex-State Chairman to suggest that Currie not continue the fight.
Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-Montclair), who was state chairman from 1997 to 2001, told the New Jersey Globe this week that Democrats would be better off without a “bloodless fight.”
“What’s the point of pushing ahead if the numbers aren’t there?” Giblin asked.
Cryan cautioned both sides to make sure that the race is just a family fight.
“Those of us who have been through intraparty battles know that the best way to recover from them when an eventual winner is declared is not to get personal and not to cast aspersions on anyone’s motives,” Cryan said. “The path ahead seems clear: let’s unify as quickly as possible behind the candidate who appears to have already secured the necessary votes to win this contest and refocus our attention on the hard work ahead to elect more Democrats to office.”
Cryan endorsed Jones last December, as did State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), the Union County Democratic Chairman.
“In the coming months, the Democratic State Chairman will lead a Party that must be united in retaking the White House, protecting our Congressional delegation, electing Democrats up and down the ballot and planning for reapportionment and redistricting,” said Cryan. “This is not the time to engage in division and not the time to cast aspersions. It is the time to accept reality and move on to the hard work of electing Democrats.”
Cryan said that supporters of Jones and Currie are all loyal Democrats.