Open Thread: Wisniewski makes it official: Not seeking another term as Dem Chair

It’s not a surprise, certainly, but Democratic State Committee Chair Assemblyman John Wisniewski will not be seeking another term as leader of the party. From an email to supporters, this morning:

Thank you for giving me the distinct honor and privilege of serving as our party’s state chairman for almost three and a half years.  I wanted you to know that I will not be seeking another term as chair when my term ends in June.

Wisniewski’s entire statement is posted below the fold. In recent weeks, much speculation about who the next chair may be. Traditionally, it’s the gubernatorial nominee’s pick, but with the Democratic wing of the Democratic party and the often Christiecrat wing of the party sometimes at odds, there is something of a backroom power struggle playing out. A number of county chairs have actually had to go on the record saying that presumptive nominee Sen. Barbara Buono, firmly representing the interests of the Democratic wing and Democratic NJ voters, should  in fact get to exercise that traditional power over the direction of the party. Frankly, that should be a no-brainer, and those unelected power brokers who may expect to exercise that control themselves should be ashamed of their damn selves.

This is an open thread. Speculation, thanks, complaints, ideas are welcome.

Blue Jersey sends its thanks to John Wisniewski – Wiz – for his leadership as Chair. [Wisniewski’s full email, below the fold]

NJDSC Chair John Wisniewski’s statement:

Thank you for giving me the distinct honor and privilege of serving as our party’s state chairman for almost three and a half years.  I wanted you to know that I will not be seeking another term as chair when my term ends in June.

My time leading the state committee has been both challenging and rewarding.  When I took the helm, we had just come through a disappointing loss of the Governor’s office.  Our party was in debt and we faced an energetic and ambitious Republican Party who saw an opportunity to make electoral gains under the leadership of their new governor.   I’m proud to say that, despite their hopes, our Democratic Party is strong and remains the party that best represents the values of New Jersey’s residents. With a record of success, and the pieces in place for another victory this November, the time is right to pass the torch.  I hope you will consider giving to the state party today to ensure that the next chair has the resources to continue the work that we have done here.

I am reminded of the words of President John F. Kennedy who once said, “Victory has a thousand fathers.” Our victories, and our strength, have come from you and thousands like you who work hard every day and give what you can to support Democratic candidates at all levels. In 2011, I worked with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, and other Democratic leaders, to ensure that the legislative district map reflected the fact that there are 700,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in New Jersey.  In November of that year, we actually added to our legislative majority.  In 2012, we led 200 delegates and 300 guests to Charlotte for a successful Democratic National Convention and, in November, New Jersey was one of only two states in the nation to increase President Obama’s margin of victory.  We re-elected Senator Menendez by nearly 20 points and we sent 6 Democratic Congressmen to the House.  We couldn’t have done any of this without you.

Today, as we approach our next gubernatorial election, our state party’s fiscal health has been restored, our county Democratic organizations remain strong and New Jersey Democrats are ready for the battle to regain the Governor’s office, maintain our legislative majorities and expand our success at the local level.  My successor will need your support to build upon our successes in November and beyond.  If you can give $5, $10, or $20 today, you will help the next chair hit the ground running.

As I look to the last month of my tenure at the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, I have a few more thank yous:

Thank you to my colleagues in the state legislature, particularly our legislative leadership.  They have helped unify our legislators to produce victories on issues such as marriage equality, an increase in the minimum wage, women’s health care and support for our public schools.

Thank you to our Democratic Senators and Congressmen who have stood united in support of our President and on issues such as extending unemployment benefits for those in our state who have struggled to find work, economic stimulus measures to help put people back to work, defending a women’s right to choose and promoting sanity in our federal policies to prevent gun violence.

Thank you to Mayor Dana Redd for serving as Vice Chair of the state party.  I have valued her sound advice and counsel and she is an asset to this organization and to our state.

Thank you to the staff of the Democratic State Committee, who have helped maintain a healthy, vibrant presence for our state Democratic Party over these past few years and who have helped create the foundation upon which we can continue to build electoral success.

I want you to know that, as hard as the work has been, it has been a great pleasure working with all of you – both old friends and new.  Of course, my work on behalf of New Jersey Democrats and the values we all share does not end when I pass the torch at the state party.  This November, I will be on the ballot for re-election as an Assemblyman from the 19th legislative district, but I will also be working to support Democratic candidates across this state.  I encourage you to continue to support the state party and candidates around the state by giving today.

Thank you for your support.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the 17th Democratic State Conference in Atlantic City next week.

Comment (1)

  1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

    “I would like to thank Assemblyman Wisniewski for his service to the New Jersey Democratic Party over the past three and a half years. As chairman, John worked tirelessly to build and bolster our party and fight against Governor Christie’s failed economic policies. Because of his strong leadership, New Jersey Democrats are in a great position to make important gains this November.”


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