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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Murphy demurs on removal of Democratic organization lines

Hunterdon Dem convention 10 days away

By Nikita Biryukov, January 29 2020 3:57 pm

With New Jersey Democrats first county convention less than two weeks away, Gov. Phil Murphy declined to take a firm stance on whether Democratic county organizations should give out party lines Wednesday, leaving him undecided on one of his progressive base’s core demands.

“Haven’t given it much thought, honestly,” Murphy said. “I’ve literally read a couple of items. I haven’t had any real intense, or frankly any, political conversations about it, so bear with me on that one. I’ll come back to you.”

Hunterdon County Democrats are set to hold their convention, where they’ll pick candidates for the presidency and Congress, among other positions, next Saturday.

The elimination of organizational lines has long been a goal of the state’s progressive Democrats, who argue that the process lends undue power to power brokers and party bosses.

Sue Altman, the state director of New Jersey Working Families, called for county organizations’ influence on the primary process to be curbed earlier this month.

Altman is a staunch opponent of powerbroker George Norcross, whose control extends to many of South Jersey’s Democratic organizations.

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