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.