Former U.S. Ambassador the Germany Phil Murphy is one step closer to becoming the New Jersey Democratic Party’s nominee in the June gubernatorial primary. On Thursday night, Murphy locked up the party line at the gubernatorial convention of the Bergen County Democratic Organization. On June 6 Murphy will appear at the top of the Democratic ticket in Bergen while his competitors run off the line.
“I am honored and humbled by the tremendous support our movement to reclaim our state from Chris Christie and the failed special interests received tonight from the Bergen County Democrats,” said Murphy in a statement. “Bergen County has one of the most open and fair nomination processes in our state, and we fought for every vote just as we have since we started this campaign. Most importantly, we come out of this convention united with Democrats all across Bergen County and focused on victory in June.”
Murphy’s victory was decisive with the candidate securing 87 percent of the vote of county committee members. Assemblyman John Wisniewski earned 10 percent of the votes and activist Bill Brennan earned three percent of the votes. While state Senator Ray Lesniak and former Undersecretary to the Treasury Jim Johnson are declared Democratic candidates, neither got votes at the convention.
While Thursday’s vote makes it official for Murphy in Bergen, the former Goldman Sachs Executive has long been considered the favorite to win the Democratic Party nomination in the state. He launched his campaign in May 2016 and has been scoring endorsements from the likes of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee ever since. On Friday, Murphy’s campaign announced that the candidate had scored the endorsement of Bernie Sanders’ son, Levi Sanders, despite the fact that Wisniewski was the New Jersey chair of the Sanders campaign during the 2016 presidential primary.
“Phil’s values align with so much of what we fought for in 2016: a livable minimum wage of $15 an hour, respect for workers, an affordable college education, equal pay for equal work, reforming our broken criminal justice system, and an economy that creates a vibrant and diverse middle class and which works for Main Street, not Wall Street,” said Sanders in a statement, also noting that he would be in New Jersey on February 11 to help Murphy campaign.
Whichever Democrat wins the June primary will move forward to face the Republican nominee in November.