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Former Senate President Steve Sweeney. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe.

Sweeney backs no-line N.J. presidential primary

Says Menendez plan ‘makes all the sense in the world’

By David Wildstein, February 21 2020 9:38 am

Senate President Steve Sweeney will support a plan offered by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez to hold an open Democratic presidential primary without organization lines.

“I am in total agreement with Senator Menendez,” Sweeney told the New Jersey Globe in a short interview this morning.  “I think that that’s the course of action.  It makes sense.”

On Thursday evening, Menendez called on county chairs to put presidential candidates in a separate column on the June 2 primary election ballot rather than endorse a particular contender and put him or her on their organization line.

Hudson County Democratic chair Amy DeGise and Essex County Democratic chair LeRoy Jones, Jr. both indicated their willingness to follow Menendez, if the details can be worked out.

Since then, other Democratic leaders appear to be warming to the idea.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if some South Jersey chairs follow,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney has no timetable about making his own endorsement in the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I don’t know when I will, if I will,” he said.

The senate president praised Menendez for his leadership.

“What he’s calling for makes all the sense in the world,” said Sweeney.

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