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Joe Biden at the Fourth of July Iowa Cubs game at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa, July 4, 2019. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Biden picks N.J. At-Large, PLEO delegates

Up to Democratic State Committee to ratify nominee choices

By David Wildstein, July 22 2020 12:01 am

Joe Biden has finalized his preferred list of At-Large and Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO) delegates, picking Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and First Lady Tammy Murphy.

Biden currently leads Bernie Sanders by an 85.7% to 13.87% margin, which allows the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to sweep all 28 At-Large and 14 PLEO delegates from New Jersey at next month’s virtual Democratic National Convention.

Additional PLEO delegates include: Newark Mayor Ras Baraka; Hudson County Democratic Chair Amy DeGise; Union Township Committeewoman Michele Delisort; Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Voorhees); State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair); Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr.; Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano; Hunterdon County Democratic Chair Arlene Quinones Perez; Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Trenton); State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark).

New Jersey Communications Workers of America state director Hetty Rosenstein will also serve as a PLEO delegate pledged to Biden.  Rosenstein had run for district delegate on Sanders’ slate in the July 7 Democratic primary.

In addition to Murphy, Biden’s At-Large delegate slate includes Democratic congressional candidate Amy Kennedy, New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan, Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, and East Orange Mayor Ted Green.  Ocean County Democratic Chairman Wyatt Earp, Mercer County Democratic Chair Janice Mironov, and Morris County Democratic Chairman Chip Robinson are slated for At-Large delegates as well.

Also on the At-Large slate: National CWA staff senior campaign lead Estina Baker; Metuchen Democratic activist Kathy Gross Busch; Passaic County Education Association President Susan Butterfield; American Federation of Teachers President Donna Chiera; Mary Clements; Dino Esemplare; Politically Driven producer Robin Gurin; Brittany Higgins; Walmart Regional Director of Public Affairs Jennifer Hoehn; former Willingboro Democratic Municipal Chair Lavonne Bebler Johnson; Camden County Freeholder Melinda Kane; Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach; Hudson County Clerk Junior Maldonado; New Jersey Latinas United for Political Empowerment Political Action Committee president Laura Matos; Democratic strategist Tricia Mueller; attorney Satish Poondi; former Camden Mayor Dana Redd; Amalgamated Transit Union state chairman Orlando Riley; and National Education Association executive committee member Christine Sampson-Clark.

It’s not immediately clear why the Biden campaign didn’t designate two At-Large alternate delegates.

Biden’s picks are expected to be ratified when the Democratic State Committee meets on Thursday evening.  Party rules give presidential candidates the right of review before the State Committee selects the delegates.

Biden won at least 117 delegates in last week’s New Jersey Democratic primary, with Sanders in line to win four district delegates and six more contests too close to call.

Sanders needed to win 15% of the vote in a delegate district to claim at least one delegate, and looks to have done so in four of the state’s 20 delegate districts.

Update on July 23 at 6:42 PM: Christopher Durkin and Linda Telschow were elected Alternate At-Large Delegates pledged to Biden.

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