The New Jersey Democratic State Committee will need to hold a special election to fill the vacant Democratic National Committeewoman post left vacant yesterday when Stephanie Bush-Baskette resigned to take a seat on the state Ethics Commission. The party has not yet scheduled a date for the election, and the DNC is not expected to meet again until January.
Bush-Baskette, a former Assemblywoman and state Community Affairs Commissioner, won the job on August 13. She defeated incumbent Christine "Roz" Samuels, one of the first superdelegates to switch from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. At the time, a Democratic official says that Samuels' defeat was unrelated to her defection to Obama in a state where most of the party leadership lined up behind Clinton. Sources say that the DNC seat traditionally goes to Essex, and Democratic County Chairman Phil Thigpen decided today to replace Samuels with Bush-Baskette.
Citing comments former President Bill Clinton made about Obama, Samuels dropped her support of Clinton just after she won the February 5 New Jersey primary. A week later, she endorsed Obama. Samuels, a state NAACP Executive Board member, is a former Newark Teachers' Union, Local 481 official.