Gov. Phil Murphy is backing Somerset County Chairwoman Peg Schaffer to replace embattled Democratic State Vice Chairwoman Lizette Delgado-Polanco, who stepped down from her role with the state party Wednesday, a day after she resigned from her role as CEO of the Schools Development Authority.
“Peg Schaffer is one of the Democratic Party’s transformational leaders, and her record of success in Somerset County building an organization that has picked up numerous victories speaks volumes about her abilities,” Murphy said. “I know that our New Jersey Democratic State Committee will remain in strong hands with Chairman John Currie and Peg Schaffer, and I’m enthusiastically supporting this outstanding team.”
Schaffer will serve as interim vice chair and will run with Democratic State Chairman John Currie when he runs for re-election later this year.
Delgado has faced a storm of criticism over a series of potentially nepotistic hires at the SDA over the past several weeks. She resigned from her role at the embattled authority on Tuesday.
Democratic leaders, including Murphy and Currie had largely stuck by Delgado-Polanco, and they continue to speak highly of the former union leader.
“Lizette Delgado-Polanco is a dear friend and has been a steadfast advocate for working families and a tremendous asset to our state party. I’m certain that she will continue to fight for progressive values,” Currie said. “I’m excited to join together with Peg Schaffer and bring her record of success to our party, with a focus on expanding outreach to grassroots and progressive activists, training more candidates and operatives, engaging new voters, and electing Democrats throughout the state.”
Schaffer was instrumental in helping freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski oust now-former Rep. Leonard Lance in 2018.
The Democrat has been active in New Jersey politics for decades, and under her leadership, Democrats have won county seats Democrats haven’t held in roughly four decades.
“The grassroots energy we’re seeing right now in the Democratic Party is unprecedented, and I’m ready to continue working to channel that enthusiasm into victories for Democratic candidates throughout the state,” Schaffer said. “I look forward to standing with Governor Murphy and Chairman Currie in the vitally important years to come as we work to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey.”