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The campaign of Democratic State Chairman John Currie today called a bid to unseat him a “hostile takeover to depose a highly successful NJDSC leadership team supported by a Democratic Governor.”
“Let’s be clear — this attempt to remove the current NJDSC leadership isn’t about unity, it’s about a continuing quest for power by the same transactional politicians who spent eight years cutting deals with Chris Christie to weaken our state and our Democratic Party,” said Phil Swibinski, a spokesman for the re-election campaign of Currie and Vice Chair Peg Schaffer.
Currie faces a challenge from Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr., who currently leads Currie, 55 to 43, according to a New Jersey Globe tally of the 113 members of the Democratic State Committee.
Jones reached the magic number of 49 ½ on Monday when Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp endorsed him.
The race for state chairman, which began in December 2018, has split Democrats.
Gov. Phil Murphy strongly supports Currie for re-election, while his lieutenant governor, Sheila Oliver, is backing Jones.
According to Swibinski, Jones’ candidacy is an act of political aggression that could tear New Jersey Democrats apart without any reason.
“Their goal is to tear our party apart by attacking a proven and winning leadership team in John Currie and Peg Schaffer, who are supported by our Governor,” Swibinski said. “It’s about a powerful few that want to protect corporations and millionaires while attacking working people and the middle class.”
Swibinski said that Jones’ support comes from “a wing of the party that has long been openly hostile to any progressive change, from civil rights to gun safety and many other vital issues.”
“That’s what John Currie and Peg Schaffer are standing up against, and that’s why our message of protecting our Democratic Party is resonating with state committee members,” Swibinski said.