John Currie, dean of the Democratic Party county chairs, said he gave his word to Barbara Buono that he would support her choice for state party chair and he won’t back down.
As Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) continues to trash Buono’s choice, Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31), Currie said Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s laughing at the party and called on Democrats to stop the food-fighting.
“She (Buono) deserves the support of the entire party,” said Currie, long-serving chairman of the Passaic Democratic Committee, and now a senior advisor to the Buono campaign.
Currie sees Buono as the only person who had the guts to run for governor and now Democrats must support her and her choice for party chair.
Sweeney and Buono both leaned on Currie late last week in an attempt to bring the two warring tribes to the bargaining table.
Stung by O’Donnell’s divergent views on the public sector pension and benefits overhaul he led, and bothered by a return of dethroned O’Donnell ally former Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan (D-20), Sweeney wouldn’t retreat from his view that O’Donnell won’t work.
He wanted Currie to serve as chair.
But Buono – bounced out of her own majority leader post at the same time as Cryan in 2011 – wanted O’Donnell.
There was loyalty there and trust.
When Buono was already a declared candidate last year, Sweeney actively sought others who might run against Christie and came up empty.
Heading into a private meeting with Sweeney last week in Atlantic City, Currie was already on record in support of Buono having her own choice to succeed departing Party Chairman John Wisniewski.
He wouldn’t back off, he said, and intends to fulfill his obligations to the presumptive nominee by helping to officially secure O’Donnell’s appointment with support he says is there from a majority of the party committee.
Currie said he also plans to be there every day for Buono as she struggles to find traction to face popular incumbent Christie.