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New Jersey Democratic State Chairman John Currie. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

DSC releases 2020 delegate plan

Plan includes measures for gender, race and sexual orientation diversity

By Nikita Biryukov, July 26 2019 2:35 pm

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New Jersey’s selection process for Democratic delegates for the 2020 presidential election will include criteria encouraging the selection of minority delegates, the State Democratic Committee announced Friday.

Of the state’s 128 delegates, 70 will be elected from districts created by merging two of the state’s legislative districts. How much representation each of those 20 delegate districts receive is determined by voter registration figures and voter participation in the 2012, 2016 and 2017 elections.

New Jersey will have 21 of its delegates automatically selected. Those delegates include the Democratic governor, congresspeople, senators and Democratic National Committee member who reside in the state.

Former Democratic presidents, congressional leaders and DNC chairs living in the state are also awarded delegacy automatically.

Mayors of large New Jersey cities and state legislative leaders can file for 14 delegate seats. The Democratic State Committee selects which filers advance.

The remaining 23 seats are elected at-large by the Democratic State Committee.

Delegates and alternate delegates — the state is allowed nine alternates — must be equally apportioned by gender, meaning the total number of men and women selected as delegates cannot differ by more than one.

Though the state committee is not imposing quotas for race, ethnicity and other classes, it is aiming to have 25 Black, 23 Latino, two Native American, 11 LGBT, six disable and 13 Asian or Pacific Islander delegates. The DSC is also aiming to have 25 young delegates, which the body has defined as being under the age of 36.

“Our party is a leader in promoting diversity and inclusion, because these are the values that make the Democratic Party, our state and our local communities stronger,” Democratic State Chairman John Currie said. “Our delegate selection process will ensure that our state is fully and fairly represented at the Democratic National Convention as we nominate our candidate for this critical election.”

All delegacies that are not automatically awarded are apportioned based on presidential preference.

New Jersey will also get four spots on the DNC’s credentials, platform and rules committees. Those seats will also be equally divided by gender.

The plan includes protections for non-binary delegate candidates, who are not required to be counted for either gender.

The plan was approved by the DSC’s executive committee, but it’s not clear how involved other Democratic State Committee members were in their adoption.

“How is it that individual members of the State Committee had no part in this?? This is the first I have heard of it,” Democratic State Committeewoman Sharon Ransavage, a former Hunterdon County prosecutor, said in an email to Democratic State Committee Executive Director Tolulope Kevin Olasanoye and all other State Committee members.

Until recently, the list of state committee members has been closely guarded. During a state committee meeting in March, then DSC executive director Liz Gilbert said the party would create an opt-in system that would allow members to share their contact information with others on the committee.

But, the list of members was not fully released to state committee members until Olasanoye sent the party’s delegate plan to members earlier Friday.

The DSC’s plan must be submitted to the DNC for final approval.

In his Friday morning email, Olasanoye said he expects that submission to happen in August.

NJDSC Delegate Selection Plan Final 2020 Democratic National Convention
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