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Former Senate President Steve Sweeney. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Democrats won’t certify Sweeney redistricting appointment

Avelenda: No redistricting appointments until ‘the end of the year’

By Nikita Biryukov, April 15 2020 1:33 pm

The Democratic State Committee is still holding off on making appointments to the legislative redistricting commission after Senate President Steve Sweeney announced he would take South Jersey’s seat on the ten-member board.

“Which is we’re focused on elections and COVID-19,” NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda said. “There have been no appointments made to the redistricting commission, and none will be made until the end of the year.”

As part of a deal reached between Democratic factions warring over control of the state party last December, Democratic State Chairman John Currie gave seats on the commission to South Jersey and Hudson, Bergen, Essex and Middlesex counties.

Sweeney has claimed South Jersey’s seat, and West New York Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo has claimed Hudson’s, while the three remaining Democratic members have not yet been announced, though those counties have their short lists.

It’s not clear whether the various counties will still get their picks.

Avelenda declined to say whether that part of the deal was still in place.

“I would certainly expect them to honor what was reported, and it’s disappointing that they will not state that for now because it’s not that hard,” Sweeney said. “They said the speaker, the senate president and they named the counties where they were going to pick people from. That was reported. It’s not like they guessed the counties.”

Currie himself declined to comment on Sweeney’s letter.

“I’m not talking about it,” he said.

Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt has already appointed the GOP half of the commission.

Sweeney to Currie 04072020
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