Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced will seek re-election with the support of the state’s Democratic organizations.
“I am running for re-election, and I will seek the county lines,” he said.
Though unsurprising, Murphy’s acknowledgement of his seeking organizational lines, a designation that comes with a preferential primary ballot position, follows months of his demurring on the subject.
The progressive groups that make up a large part of his base have railed against the line for years, arguing it lends incumbents and other establishment candidates an unfair advantage in intraparty contests.
The groups on Monday joined a federal lawsuit aiming to do away with the lines initially launched by Christine Conforti, who sought the Democratic nomination in New Jersey’s fourth congressional district last year.
While the governor’s acceptance of party lines is unlikely to impact that support — progressive leaders acknowledge lines are advantageous and understand the governor has to avoid alienating Democratic county leaders as he moves into his re-election campaign — it’s not likely to be met with celebration.
His campaign has already begun making overtures to party leaders on the subject. Those moves are made largely out of deference to Democratic county chairs, as Murphy faces no credible challenger for the Democratic nomination.