Home>Highlight>In private redistricting meeting, some South Jersey Dems praise Jones’ leadership

Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

In private redistricting meeting, some South Jersey Dems praise Jones’ leadership

No Democratic legislators addressed removal of Senate President Steve Sweeney from legislative redistricting panel

By David Wildstein, January 30 2022 5:04 pm

With more than 50 Democratic legislators, party leaders and staff on a Zoom meeting to discuss legislative redistricting on Sunday morning, no one raised an objection to the dumping of former Senate President Steve Sweeney from the Apportionment Commission, according to several individuals with knowledge of the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Several South Jersey lawmakers participated in the meeting.  Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Voorhees) praised Democratic State Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr. for his leadership on the redistricting commission and did not mention Sweeney’s removal.

There were no signs of war, even as Sweeney prepares to go to court on Tuesday in a bid to get his seat back.  Indeed, with most of the South Jersey Democratic delegation in the meeting, there were no signs of retaliation toward the panel that took out Sweeney last week and no indication of any boycott by the lawmakers.   So far, no Democratic elected officials have publicly spoken out in opposition of Jones’ decision to replace Sweeney with Laura Matos.

Aft least four other South Jersey Democrats also spoke during the meeting.

The meeting, led by Senate President Nicholas Scutari and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, was held to brief legislators on issues related to redistricting.  The Democratic consultant, Tom Bonior, walked legislators through some process matters.

But there was no real news out of the meeting – certainly, no specific proposals or maps were unveiled to a group that large, and there was no discussion the strategies in presenting their plan to the court-appointed tiebreaker, former Appellate Court Judge Philip Carchman.

Carchman has asked that Democrats and Republicans submit their first proposals to him by February 8, and has privately indicated to both parties that he intends to release them  to the public for comment.

The maps are due March 1.

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