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State Sen. Jim Beach (D-Voorhees), the Camden County Democratic Chairman. (Photo: New Jersey Senate Majority Office.)

Vote tonight on Camden Democratic bylaw changes

By David Wildstein, March 30 2021 5:19 pm

Update: Technical issues with online voting will necessitate another meeting.  

Camden County Democrats will vote on a bylaw change tonight that will create additional at-large county committee seats for certain current and former elected officials and party leaders.

Those at-large members could increase the size of the county committee by about 8%.  Among those who would now have a vote: George E. Norcross III, a former county chairman and the Democratic National Committeeman.

The move effectively adds the equivalent of super delegates from a decades-old political organization in the event that there is a contested race for county chair at some point in the future, either against incumbent James Beach or after he leaves office.

Democrats are also planning on updating their bylaws to consider non-binary candidates for county committee.

Collingswood Democratic Municipal Chair Kate Delany, who led a progressive insurgency that took all 16 county committee votes in 2019, is opposing the bylaw changes, calling them “procedurally defective and unconstitutional.”

Delany maintains that at-large delegates could also skew the results of a vote to award the organization line in advance of a primary election.

But Delany appears to be incorrect in her claim that unelected at-large members would also be able to vote in special election conventions – they would not – and that retired public officials and party leaders who live outside Camden County would still get a vote – the provision looks to specifically exclude non-residents.

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