The New Jersey Democratic State Committee walked back comments made by Gov. Phil Murphy, who declined to say if there were any Democratic legislators up for re-election in November who should not be re-elected.
“Governor Murphy is the leader of the Democratic Party in New Jersey and he is supporting Democratic nominees up and down the ballot this fall,” said Phil Swibinski, a state committee spokesman.
Murphy has been critical of the Democratic-controlled Legislature for failing to enact some of his top policy initiatives, including a millionaire’s tax and the legalization of marijuana.
At a press conference this morning, Murphy refused to say which Democrats obstructing his legislative agenda ought to be ousted.
“I won’t answer that question,” Murphy said in response to a question from the New Jersey Globe. “I continue to hope we will find common ground. I know why I was elected. I know what brought me to the dance, and I’m hopeful that we can find common ground.”
The same question was asked of the governor on Sunday when he signed the state budget that included line-item vetoes of some items.
“Let me come back to you one that,” he added after the question was repeated. “I honestly didn’t hear it, so I apologize.”
Murphy endorsed two Camden County legislators with close ties to George Norcross against progressive challengers in last month’s Democratic primary for State Assembly.
His endorsement of Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Voorhees) and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Cherry Hill) comes one week before more than 80 candidates on a rival ticket backed by South Jersey Progressive Democrats took on candidates running with the support of the Norcross-led Camden County Democratic machine.
The Norcross ticket swamped the progressives, winning by huge margins everywhere but in Collingswood.
Murphy also endorsed incumbents Joseph Egan (D-New Brunswick) and Joe Danielson (D-Franklin) against progressive primary challenger Ron Rivers in Middlesex County, the home base of Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.