Before I talk about my next step, I wanted to take a quick look back in time. Over 7 years ago, I was a field organizer in Northeast Iowa on the Howard Dean for President campaign. I would read the Dean for America Blog at night and write to people from New Jersey who would post. One of those people at the time was Juan Melli, a student then at Princeton University. We started talking Jersey politics and as I stayed in Iowa following the Dean campaign to manage a Congressional race in 2004, we kept in touch.
When I returned to NJ following the 2004 elections, I would eventually meet Juan at Princeton when he was involved in the filibuster against Frist in 2005. He told me about this idea for a blog and the next thing I knew in September 2005, I was a founding member of the then BlueJersey.net
Through the years, my jobs have changed and my involvement in Blue Jersey increased as I began to write more regularly, became the Technical Director of the blog and started co-hosting Blue Jersey Radio with Jeff Gardner.
As much as I have enjoyed my ride here on the blog, it’s time for my next step. I have been offered the position to become the Communications Director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. I recognize that the position probably wouldn’t even be available to me if I had not been involved in this blog, but I also recognize that this blog has never been and cannot simply be an extension of the state party itself.
I’ll be following in the footsteps of the many front pagers that have come before me and moved on to make an impact within the Democratic Party and in the media itself. Before JRB was writing for Salon and Huffington Post, he was posting here at Blue Jersey. Prior to Juan Melli working for Dawn Zimmer and Jon Corzine, he founded our little site. Jay Lassiter worked on the campaigns of Rob Andrews and John Adler after he was Blue Jersey’s statehouse correspondent. Before Thurman Hart was writing an online column at NJ.com, he was taking people to task on this blog. Brian McGinnis handled Blue Jersey’s morning roundup before moving on to Garden State Equality, followed by Pam Lampitt and Lou Greenwald’s Legislative office. Before Jeff Gardner was a Party Chairman, he was and still is a front page blogger. While Rosi is busy actually running the blog, she also has her hands in more going on across this state than I can even name. And the list goes on and on with involvement from the people here at Blue Jersey in the party, in government and on campaigns in New Jersey.
So much has gone on in my time at Blue Jersey which has not only been fun to be a part of, but a source of great pride. We had huntsu on the trail of Chris Christie before anyone else wanted to pay attention to what was going on. We caught a staffer on Tom Kean Jr.’s campaign astroturfing the blog from their own headquarters, which is still cited in her wikipedia page. We’ve covered live events with everyone from Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, to Bon Jovi and Jon Corzine. Hosting the radio show with Jeff Gardner, Adam Lambert, JRB and whoever else wanted to join us has been an absolute blast. Having my name even associated with the Think Equal campaign and the ads that were created for the Marriage Equality push was an honor. Seeing first hand photos from Rome of the Coliseum lit up when NJ abolished the death penalty literally sent chills down my spine. And recently we even helped lead the fight to save the SCI from the power grab of a Governor.
Someone once told me that Blue Jersey helped serve as the conscience of the Democratic Party, which I often took great pride in. They said we served as a farm team giving progressive Democrats a platform to hone their message and communications skill. Just as I have followed others in moving on to influence the party in a different capacity, I hope other readers here will take advantage of the opportunities Blue Jersey presents and the potential it holds. Thank you all for an amazing ride and I look forward to continuing the fight, just in a different capacity and forum. It has been an absolute honor for me to be associated with Blue Jersey and the people who contribute to make it what it is.
Thank you all for an amazing ride.