NJ State Democratic Chair: O’Donnell, Lesniak drop out. Currie a compromise candidate

At least one ugly battle dividing New Jersey Democrats has just been settled, a little more than 24 hours before a scheduled party vote to select the incoming leadership of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

Here is a joint statement from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Senator Barbara Buono and Senate President Steve Sweeney:

Joint Statement on the Election for Chairman of the Democratic State Committee

New Brunswick, N.J. – Today, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono released the following statement:

“Today, we talked and determined that the issues that bind us together are far stronger than any disagreements. The Democratic Party has long been a champion for working and middle class families and this year’s election is far too important to allow party in-fighting to affect our ability to help them. Our focus must be on defeating Governor Christie and winning elections up and down the ticket.

“In the interest of party unity, Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell and Senator Ray Lesniak have agreed to rescind their candidacies for chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (NJDSC). Passaic County Chairman John Currie has graciously accepted the position and will be the next leader of the NJDSC.

“By removing themselves from contention for State Chair, Assemblyman O’Donnell and Senator Lesniak continue to exhibit the qualities that make them tremendous leaders within the Democratic Party.  They understand that compromise is a necessary and important part of a vibrant democracy and both will work hard to ensure that Democrats win across the state in November.”

Comments (22)

  1. vmars

    Good job, both of you.  I feel much better about our party at this point.

  2. 12mileseastofTrenton

    Doesn’t matter.  Not going to change one vote or stop her opponents in the party from sitting on their hands in the governor’s race.  Those of them who are not already in Christie’s camp.

  3. Erik Preuss

    That being said, I don’t feel much better about the party. Yes, it’s a good thing that both sides could come to an agreement to avoid civil war. But it’s truly pathetic that it got this far.  

  4. 12mileseastofTrenton
  5. firstamend07

    Glad Buono compromised with the Senate President.  

  6. firstamend07

    How many times over the past three years has Senate President Sweeney been the ” voice of reason” both inside the Democratic party and in dealing with Chrisiteand his right wing ideas?

    Very few on this site give him any credit ,but without his leadership this State would be in  “wisconsin like” shambles.

    Credit also ,in this party chair case ,to Buono also.

    But for all you haters just imagine State government without the common sense,practical,moderate  leadership of Stephen Sweeney.

  7. Joebluejersey11

    Sen. Weinberg went all -in for the Norcrossrat machine pick, whilst her entire career was allegedly “fightn’ the machine”….. Sen. Weinberg real colors have shown through and her bizarre obsession about machine bosses has now clearly rung hollow.  Progressives got the message loud and clear.  

  8. southernbluedog

    First… I’m glad the state party chair fight is over. I’m highly disappointed about how it was all handled in public. There’s no reason this compromise couldn’t have been figured out behind closed doors a few weeks ago.

    Second… I would say Sweeney compromised with Buono as much as Buono compromised with Sweeney. At the end of the day, there is a state chair that is, and has been, a strong Buono supporter.

    Third…  Sen. Lesniak needs to put up or shut up. I understand he can probably raise a ton of money and help organize the party in a way some other people can’t. But he continues to brag about how big donors won’t help in NJ because he’s not the state chair. If he truly cared about the state party, he would do all he could to help raise money despite his leadership status.


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