John Currie isn’t backing out of his race for another term following Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp’s endorsement of LeRoy Jones.
“After talking with supporters, I know I have the votes to win this race,” the Democratic state chair told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m in it until the end.”
Earp announced he was backing Jones, who is Essex County Democratic chairman, earlier Monday.
With Earp’s endorsement, Currie trails Jones 55-43, though its possible some Democratic State Committee members will vote against the candidates backed by their county chairs.
The magic number to win a race for New Jersey Democratic State Chairman is 49 ½ votes.
Though no clear date has been set, the race is expected to take place sometime in December, and control of the Democratic half of the 10-member Legislative Redistricting Commission is at stake.
That body will redraw lines for New Jersey’s legislative districts following the 2020 census.
Currie, a stout ally of Gov. Phil Murphy, and Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt have both declined to rule out making their appointments before Currie’s term expires at the end of the year.
Such a move, while not unprecedented, would likely kick off an extended intra-party feud that may wend its way to the courts.
“I’m confident I’ve done the job for this party,” Currie said. “I was there for this when they needed someone, so I am hoping, in the end, and I’m confident I will be the next state chairman, particularly with the support of the governor.”