Amy DeGise thanks Currie for mentorship, praises Jones as he takes over as NJDSC chair


Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise thanked now former New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair John Currie for his mentorship as Leroy Jones succeeded him this evening.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“ … In electing new leadership at the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, it was important we choose someone who is committed to building on the progress we have already made and I am confident that person is Leroy Jones,” DeGise, who was elected to her post in June 2018, said in statement.

“I am eager to stand beside Chairman Jones as we roll up our sleeves together to elect Democrats up and down the ballot this November. I want to thank Chairman Currie for not only his years of service to our party, but for personally serving as my mentor over the past three years. I can confidently say we are a stronger party because of his leadership and wish him all the best on his next journey.”

Jones, also the Essex Democratic Committee chair, is the first new state chair since 2013. His unanimous vote comes after he and Currie struck a deal for appointments to the Legislative Redistricting Commission in December 2019.

“It is truly an honor to be elected to lead the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and I pledge to use this tremendous opportunity to continue growing our party, organizing our voters and helping deliver positive change in our great state,” Jones said in his own statement.

“I would like to thank the members of the Democratic State Committee for their unanimous support as well as Governor Murphy and Democratic leaders for their confidence in me. I would also like to commend my friend, John Currie, and thank him for his tireless work leading our party over the last eight years — he leaves big shoes to fill and I will work my hardest to live up to the example he has set.”

The NJSDC executive committee also named Marguerite “Peg” Schaffer as vice chair,  Claribel “Clary” Azcona-Barber as secretary, and Medinah Muhammad as treasurer.

Additionally, NJDSC Executive Director Saily Avelenda will remain in her role with the party following the reorganization meeting.

“I could not be more excited to work with Chairman LeRoy Jones and this new leadership team to move our Democratic Party forward and ensure that it continues to be a force for change in our state and a beacon of our shared Democratic values,” noted Gov. Phil Murphy.

“LeRoy Jones has established himself as one of the most effective advocates for economic and social progress in New Jersey and I am certain that he will use his new platform to help elect Democratic candidates at all levels of government.”

The state Democratic party’s Reorganization Meeting was held outdoors at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park in accordance with all current state COVID-19 guidelines.

The meeting included numerous tributes to Currie that celebrated his eight-year tenure leading the party.

“Leading our Democratic Party has been the privilege of a lifetime and I would like to thank the DSC members, my executive committee and Democratic leaders around the state for their support over the years as we accomplished unprecedented success,” Currie stated.

“I have tremendous confidence in Chairman Jones and his team and I know that our party is in good hands, and I congratulate him and send best wishes on the beginning of what I’m sure will be a successful tenure as NJDSC Chairman.”

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