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Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Jones won’t call for Currie to drop re-election bid

Not important who’s in or out, Essex Dem chair says

By Nikita Biryukov, November 20 2019 4:41 pm

Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones declined to say whether State Democratic Chairman John Currie should drop his re-election bid now that he’s faced with a losing and yet-unmovable vote tally.

“However that fair and free election turns out, we all have to accept that,” Jones said. “So, who’s in, who’s out that’s not important. What’s important is that we preserve our democracy, we preserve our free election process.”

Jones is challenging Currie for control of the state Democratic party. 

A New Jersey Globe tally has the essex chairman leading the incumbent 55-49 ½.

Sources have told the New Jersey Globe that efforts to pull votes away from Jones have yet proven unsuccessful, though it’s possible that a small number of votes — not enough to change the result — may move before the election is set to take place.

At stake in the race is control over Democrats five seats on the legislative redistricting commission.

Should Currie, a close ally of Gov. Phil Murphy, make those appointments, he would provide the governor with much-needed leverage over Democrats in the legislature who have so far opposed some of his signature policy proposals.

Few Democrats have called for Currie to drop his re-election bid, though two former state Democratic chairs, State Sen. Joe Cryan and Assemblyman Tom Giblin, have suggested the current chairman reach a deal to avoid further fracturing New Jersey Democrats.

Jones is making no such suggestion, nor he said, would anything change if the roles were reversed.

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