Former chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee John Currie released a statement today praising current chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr.’s choice of Laura Matos for a seat on the Legislative Apportionment Commission.
“Chairman Jones has always been a person of conviction and someone willing to stand for the greater good,” Currie said. “His appointment today of Laura Matos puts the Legislative Apportionment Commission back on track to achieve a fair and fully representative map for all the people of New Jersey.”
Matos will be the commission’s only Hispanic member in a state that is more than one-fifth Hispanic; she will also be one of just three female commissioners.
The buried lede of Currie’s statement is, of course, the identity of the commissioner Matos will be replacing: former Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford), whom Jones and other Democrats reportedly worried would sabotage the Democratic delegation and work out a deal with the commission’s Republicans.
“It is in that spirit and in reflection on input that the Apportionment Commission has received, that I have exercised my authority to make this change to the Democratic delegation,” Jones said of his decision. “This decision was necessary to protect the future of the Democratic Party, and the integrity of the commission as a whole.”
Currie, the chairman of the Passaic County Democratic Party, first took the mantle of state Democratic leadership in 2013. In 2019, Jones challenged Currie for re-election to that post, but ultimately dropped out in favor of a deal: Currie served as chairman until June 2021, when he handed the top spot to Jones.