State Sen. and former Governor Richard Codey today said the Democratic Party should support state Sen. Barbara Buono's (D-27) choice for state party chair in the protocol and courtesy shown the Democratic nominee for governor.
"In recent weeks I’ve read about 'Democratic leaders' who have tried at every turn to undermine our party’s presumptive nominee for governor, Senator Barbara Buono," Codey said in a statement. "The early public polls show that we have a difficult fight from now until November in order to take back the Governor’s Office, so I find it hard to believe that there are people who call themselves Democrats who would choose to continue working against Senator Buono in this manner."
A source in party leadership last week told PolitickerNJ.com that Assemblyman Jason O'Donnell (D-31), reported as Buono's top choice for party chair to succeed sitting Chairman John Wisniewski, would be a non-starter.
"It’s time for the nameless chatter to cease and for real Democrats to rally around Senator Buono on behalf of New Jersey’s hard-working middle and working class taxpayers," Codey said. "It has been a long-standing tradition within the Democratic Party to defer to the gubernatorial candidate and allow them to select who they would like to be the State Party Chair, and I believe this cycle should be no different."
Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) earlier this week also told PolitickerNJ.com that Buono should have the courtesy to choose her own party chairperson.
So did Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15), a former state party chair.
"Having worked for a nominee who ultimately became governor I know first hand that it is important for a candidate to choose who will lead the party," said the assemblywoman. "The rapid pace of a campaign leaves little time for getting to know one another. Furthermore, it has been the tradition that the nominee chooses the chair. Why would we abandon that notion with Barbara Buono?"
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