A former Democratic State Chairman wants the fight for his old job between John Currie and LeRoy Jones, Jr. to end quickly and quietly — maybe without forcing Democrats to hold a vote.
“It would be in the party’s best interest to have a bloodless fight,” said Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-Montclair), who served as state chairman from 1997 to 2001. “What’s the point of pushing ahead if the numbers aren’t there? If the numbers can be verified, it’s over.”
The New Jersey Globe reported today that Jones has reached the magic number of 49 ½ to oust Currie as state party chairman after scoring the endorsement of Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp. Jones leads Currie, 55 to 43.
“Jones and Currie are reasonable people,” Giblin told the Globe. “I don’t think their egos will get ahead of reality.”
Re-elected to an eighth term in the legislature last week, Giblin has been around the political scene since the 1950s, when his father was an Essex County freeholder.
He’s viewed as a man of tremendous gravitas in New Jersey politics and has been neutral in family fight between two of his friends and political allies. He was the Essex County Democratic Chairman when Currie won his first party leadership contest in Passaic, and he served on the Essex County Board of Freeholders with Jones in the 1980s.
Now that Jones has taken the lead, Giblin things the door is now open for other state committee members to jump onto his bandwagon.
“When they see the pendulum swing, they gravitate because everyone wants to be with the winner, not on the outside looking in,” Giblin explained.
Most important to Giblin is that Democrats stop fighting over the chairmanship. He thinks Gov. Phil Murphy can make that happen.
“Murphy needs a united party to win a second term. We need one Democratic Party,” Giblin said. “Murphy still has to bring them together.”