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NJ Democratic Chair Frustrated By Democrats Endorsing Christie, Excited About Booker Campaign for Senate

8-14-13

Gov. Chris Christie picked up another endorsement from a Democratic mayor — Kevin Glover of Scotch Plains. State Democratic Chair John Currie told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he takes the decision personally because he has called for that to end during the gubernatorial race.

“I have laid out my rules I feel should happen. And now I’m putting it in the hands of the county chairman from that county,” Currie said, adding if he were in charge of a county where a Democrat endorsed Christie, he wouldn’t allow that individual to run for office again.

“As I’ve traveled around the state and I meet people, people are grateful that I came out and said what i did in terms of that situation,” Currie said.

While Barbara Buono’s campaign hasn’t gained a tremendous amount of traction, voter turnout was higher than expected in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary yesterday. Booker received 60 percent of the 300,000 votes cast, which Currie called amazing. He also said all four candidates were excellent in the primary. “I’m looking forward to having a Democratic United States senator come Oct. 16,” he said.

Currie said he’s not worried about criticism Booker got during the primary process and said he’s likely to encounter worse during the campaign against Republican Steve Lonegan. “Cory will be able to handle it. He’s gonna take his message to people of bringing people together. And I’m excited. And I think his win is now gonna energize the entire Democratic Party. That’s also gonna help our gubernatorial candidate,” he said.

Congressmen Rush Holt and Frank Pallone said they better represented the progressive portion of the Democratic Party while Booker was more closely aligned with Wall Street. Currie said he will leave that distinction up to the candidates. “They’re all independent thinkers. They’re all good Democrats. And I think Cory Booker is gonna do what’s right for New Jersey and he’s gonna be a player once he gets in the United States Senate. And we’re looking for him to bring the resources back to New Jersey,” he said.

Currie said he believes energizing the Democratic base behind Booker will benefit the Buono campaign. “Cory Booker will be campaigning some with Barbara Buono. I’ve had conversations with him about that and I think you will see them working together between now and actually past Oct. 15 and before he goes to Washington,” he said.

Currie also said he supports Buono’s choice of Milly Silva for lieutenant governor and isn’t worried by her lack of elective experience. “An intelligent person when they surround themselves with good staff can make good, sound decisions. I think Milly Silva’s an excellent addition to our ticket and she’s doing very, very well on the stump,” Currie said.