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Hudson County Democratic Chair Amy DeGise. Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

Hudson Dems considering open presidential primary

DeGise says she wants to avoid primary divisions

By Nikita Biryukov, January 31 2020 1:28 pm

Hudson county’s Democrats are considering running an open primary for the presidential nomination, county Democratic chairwoman Amy DeGise said Friday.

“You have a lot of people all over the place. You have a lot of Biden supporters. You have a big Yang population here in Hudson county,” DeGise said. “Obviously, the Bernie supporters who have been ready to go from four years ago are out there hitting the ground, so we don’t want any of those groups to feel that we don’t want to include them.”

Earlier this month, DeGise said she the county’s Democrats would bracket a candidate, though conversations with other county leaders have since moved the Jersey City teacher away from the idea.

Democrats are now considering running a separate line for the presidency, a move that would create a split on the ballot between the endorsed national candidate and Hudson County Democrats’ candidates for local office.

That idea isn’t moving forward all that quickly because it’s unclear how such a move would affect the ballot.

“We’re trying to expand on our horizons and do the best thing for the party,” DeGise said. “But we want to see how that would affect other columns and what the clerk’s office would advise and what the state would advise with that too.”

Chiefly, Democratic leaders are concerned that running two organizational lines could make the ballot confusing for voters.

New Jersey’s Democratic establishment was lined up behind U.S. Sen. Cory Booker before he suspended his campaign earlier this month.

Since then, few Democrats have truly taken sides in the contest, though a handful of them have thrown their lot in with former Vice President Joe Biden.

That may change in a few days when Iowans hold the first statewide nominating contest, though Hudson Democrats are still playing it slow for now.

“This is very important presidential election, so we want to gear up for November. That’s the main goal, so we don’t want to create any type of situation for June that will hurt us in November,” DeGise said. “Because the main goal has to be building up this party, removing Donald Trump and pushing a progressive Democratic platform forward at the national level.”

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