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Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Middlesex Democrats go for Biden

Booker, Pallone, Watson Coleman will be on Middlesex organization line

By David Wildstein, March 18 2020 7:32 pm

Middlesex County Democrats have endorsed Joe Biden for president.

That gives Biden the organization line in the county with the third-largest number of Democrats in the state.  The former vice president is now 7-0 in Democratic conventions.

Middlesex delivered a 17,480-vote plurality to Hillary Clinton, 61%-39%, against Bernie Sanders in the 2016 New Jersey primary.

Democrats cancelled their convention last week is a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.

Former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) spoke to Middlesex Democrats via a tele-town hall as a surrogate for the Biden campaign, marking the first Biden surrogate appearance in the state.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker will also run on the Middlesex line, along with Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin spoke to the Democrats as a surrogate for Booker.

Middlesex will back Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin (D-East Brunswick) for county clerk, and incumbent freeholders Charles Tomaro and Leslie Koppel.

“In these challenging times, we need focused, decisive and responsible leadership from the White House to county government,” said Kevin McCabe, the county chairman. “I am proud that Democrats across Middlesex County have decided to support these men and women, who have each proven that they can lead in the most trying of circumstances.”

No other Democrats sought the organization line in Middlesex, including Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, a party spokesperson said

Booker faces a primary challenge from former Newark school board member Lawrence Hamm, the chairman of Sanders’ New Jersey campaign. Pallone is being challenged for the Democratic nomination by progressives Russ Cirincione and Zac Roeill.

Pinkin is competing with Herb Tarbous for the seat of Elaine Flynn, who is retiring as county clerk after 25 years in office.  Neeharika Thuravil and Catherine Hunt are running for freeholder on the Tarbous ticket.

Biden has won convention votes in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Hunterdon, Mercer, and Warren counties by huge margins.

Biden has additionally secured endorsements from Democratic county chairs in Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, and Gloucester counties.

Morris and Somerset have decided to go with open primaries, although they still have until early April to make a final call.

During his 36 years as a U.S. Senator from Delaware, Biden was in New Jersey so frequently that he was often called the state’s third senator.

Despite his frequent appearances in New Jersey for Democratic candidates – he first campaigned in the state on October 4, 1973, stumping for gubernatorial candidate Brendan Byrne – Biden failed to receive any significant party support during his 1988 and 2008 White House bids.

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