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Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Murphy assures Currie backers he will win

Governor holds conference call with Dem county chairs supporting Currie, Schaffer

By David Wildstein, November 13 2019 12:30 pm

Click play for audio version of this story

Gov. Phil Murphy assured a group of Democratic county chairs supporting John Currie that he remains confident in his ability to turn some votes away from challenger LeRoy Jones, Jr. before the State Committee meets to pick their leader.

In a conference call on Monday, Murphy told the chairs that he remains fully invested in Currie’s re-election and hugely optimistic that his pick to head the New Jersey Democratic State Committee will prevail.

A New Jersey Globe count shows Jones leading Currie by twelve votes, 55 to 43, in the race for Democratic State Chairman.  The magic number to win is 49 ½.

Jones, the Essex County Democratic Chairman, took a clear lead on Monday when Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp endorsed him.

According to sources who were on the call, Hudson County Democratic Chair Amy DeGise praised Murphy, Currie and his running mate, Vice Chair Peg Schaffer, calling them “amazing.”

Schaffer is also the Somerset County Democratic Chair, where Democrats won control of the Board of Freeholders for the first time since 1965.

Currie and Schaffer were also on the call, along with First Lady Tammy Murphy, Democratic strategist Adam Alonso, and others.

Alonso told the chairs that the state party was in the process of setting up various committees to determine rules for the election, including a date.

Mercer County Democratic Chair Janice Mironov, who endorsed Currie last week, asked Alonso who would be on the committees.  She was promised an answer within 36 hours.

There are internal issues regarding the election that need to be settled, including talk of ending a long-standing practice of allowing proxy votes.

In addition to DeGise and Mironov, Paul Juliano (Bergen), Tom Palmieri (Warren), Arlene Quinones Perez (Hunterdon), Chip Robinson (Morris), and Katie Rotondi (Sussex) are backing Currie.

The battle between Currie, who has been state chairman since 2013, and Jones has been going on for nearly eleven months.

The winner will serve until after the June 2021 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

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