The magic number to win a race for New Jersey Democratic State Chairman is 49 ½ votes.
The Democratic State Committee has a total of 98 votes, although some state committee members are elected with half-votes. Democrats allocate state committee seats by population, while Republicans give a flat two seats to each of the state’s 21 counties.
Incumbent John Currie announces today that he is seeking re-election to the post he’s held since 2013.
LeRoy Jones, the Essex County Democratic Chairman, said yesterday that he would run if he’s drafted.
Gov. Phil Murphy has already endorsed Currie.
Right now, Jones appears to have 45 votes – just 4 ½ votes away from enough to win.
Currie looks to be at 23 votes.
South Jersey has 23 votes – Atlantic (four), Burlington (six) Camden (six), Cape May (one), Cumberland (two) Gloucester (three) and Salem (one). All 23 are expected to go to Jones.
Middlesex has nine votes and Union has five, if they fill the vacant seat of the late Jerry Green. Both are for Jones.
Essex has nine votes, and Jones has eight of them locked up. One of the state committee members Alixon Collazos, is the wife of Murphy advisor, Brendan Gill.
Democratic County Chairman Louis Stellato told InsiderNJ.com that he is backing Currie, which makes the incumbent is likely to get all eight votes.
Hudson County is giving seven votes to Currie.
Currie’s home county, Passaic, has five votes.
The county chairs in Sussex and Warren have also endorsed Currie. Sussex has two votes and Warren has one.
Monmouth County has eight votes and is said to be leaning toward Jones, although Currie could conceivably get some votes there.
Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp has not yet weighed in, but he is expected to back Jones, a source said. Earp, a labor union official, got in hot water with Senate President Steve Sweeney last week after backing Murphy on legislative redistricting.
County chairs in Mercer (six votes). Morris (five votes), Somerset (three votes) and Hunterdon (two votes) have not yet weighed in.
Tallies are only estimates, since some state committee members occasionally vote independently of their county chairman.