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Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Jones commits to help Coughlin flip Assembly seats

Essex-Middlesex alliance looms large

By David Wildstein, October 04 2019 5:35 pm

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LeRoy Jones is putting his bid for Democratic State Chairman on hold for the next few weeks to help Speaker Craig Coughlin pick up State Assembly seats in the November 5 mid-term elections.

“I’m putting everything else on the back burner until after the election,” Jones told the New Jersey Globe.  “Then we’ll deal with the State Committee.  I’ll make myself clear at that point.”

Jones, the Essex County Democratic Chairman, offered to go anywhere in the state to assist Democratic candidates.

“I told him to let me know where I can be helpful,” Jones said.  “I want to maintain and grow a robust Assembly that is dark blue.  “I’m on board to help the Speaker.”

The Jones/Coughlin alliance is nothing new.

In 2017, Jones helped Coughlin assembly a coalition to wrestle the speakership away from Vincent Prieto.

The two continue to be close allies.  Jones attended a fundraiser this week for Coughlin’s bid for re-election to his own Assembly seat in the 19th district.

Jones is expected to face incumbent John Currie in a contested race later this year to head the state party.

The former assemblyman and freeholder has won endorsements from Democratic county chairs in Middlesex, Monmouth, Union, and the seven South Jersey counties.  Currie has the backing of Gov. Phil Murphy and chairs in Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren.

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