New Democratic Chair Promises to Bring Unity

June 12, 2013 | Politics

The Democratic committee met today to select their new chairman. Yesterday, Sen. Ray Lesniak told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he would challenge Barbar Buono’s pick — Jason O’Donnell — for the position. In the interview, he also said outgoing chairman John Wisniewski was leaving the party in shambles.

Today, it was revealed that rather than Lesniak or O’Donnell, the new chairman will be the longtime Chair of the Passaic County Democratic Party — John Currie. In his first interview as state Democratic Chair Designate, Currie told Schneider that he d got the news from Buono. He also revealed that he had initially rejected the opportunity when he was first asked, but that he said “yes” now because he feels the party needs him, given the infighting within the party and all the players involved. He described his role as somewhat of a peacekeeper, saying “I’m friends with everyone of these people who are in this small dispute and I’m gonna do everything I can to bring them together.”

Despite Lesniak’s remarks about Wisniewski, Currie refuses to lay blame the outgoing chairman for the current state of the Democratic party. “I think the chairman did an excellent job keeping us together as well as he did. He kept both houses,” said Currie. “I think the chairman did a fine job and I congratulate him.”

Still, Currie said he’s been saddened about the public nature of his party’s “family squabble,” and promises to “do everything [he] can to bring everyone together and bring unity and victory in November.”

Related: Lesniak Touts Experience and Ability in Bid to Lead Democratic Party