Presidential, U.S. Senate and House candidates will need to win an open convention to run on the Monmouth County Democratic organization line.
The March 28 convention will also pick Democratic candidates for county clerk and two seats on the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders.
The move will force U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), to seek the votes of convention delegates. Both face progressive primary challengers.
“We are excited to announce our support for an open convention. We want to make the process as transparent as we possibly can,” said David Brown, the Democratic county chairman. “At the end of the day, our goal as a county democratic party is to elect more Democrats.”
The convention will also endorse a challenger to 20-term Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) in New Jersey’s 4th district.
Three Democrats are seeking that nomination: former U.S. Department of State official Stephanie Schmid, ex-journalist David Applefield, and former United Nations staffer Christine Conforti.
Booker faces a challenge from Lawrence Hamm, the chairman of Bernie Sanders’ New Jersey campaign. Russell Cirincione and Zac Roeill are running against Pallone, the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
Delegates will include all county committee members, as well as municipal chairs, vice chairs, elected officials, state committee members, and former elected officials “in good standing.”