In Challenging Election Year, New Jersey Democrats Embraced Progress

(Trenton) — As a challenging election cycle came to a conclusion, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman declared a victory for diversity and the progressive spirit of his party’s values.

Currie applauded the dedication and passion of all the candidates who ran as Democrats, highlighting the victories of U.S. Senator Cory Booker and Congresswoman-elect Bonnie Watson Coleman, both of whom made history as pioneering African American candidates. The Democratic chairman attributes their success overcoming ideologically radical and intransigent Republican Party opposition — as well as the surprising competitiveness of some Democratic candidates in the Garden State — to their commitment to finding meaningful solutions to the problems middle class families face.

A star athlete, Rhodes Scholar, graduate of Yale Law School, former Mayor, and, according to PolitickerNJ, “an unusually gifted politician,” Cory Booker has built an impressive resume of achievement. After his election in October of last year, Booker became only the ninth African American in history to serve in the United States Senate. He is, however, the first African American U.S. Senator to win re-election.

Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman continued to shatter ceilings. This evening, she became the first African American woman elected to represent New Jersey in Congress — and the first woman to join the state’s congressional delegation in over a decade. Previously, Watson Coleman became the first African American woman to serve as Majority Leader in the State Assembly and to be elected chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

“New Jersey Democrats believe in fostering equality of opportunity, regardless of one’s gender or skin color. We believe our government should work to ensure that every person can find a good job, earn a fair wage, enjoy equal rights, and achieve his or her full potential. I am proud that we continue to demonstrate our commitment to these values in both words and deeds,” said John Currie, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. “And, the fact is, we broke ground in a difficult electoral environment. Regardless of whether our congressional nominees across the state won or lost, they are men and women of strong character, and I honor them for embracing the participatory nature of the democratic process.”

New Jersey Democrat's slate of federal candidates was the most diverse ever, with three female candidates, three African American candidates, a congressman of Cuban descent, and a Korean American congressional challenger, as well as one who emigrated from Uruguay. Slowly but surely, New Jersey’s diverse crop of Democratic candidates is being embraced by the state’s electorate, which is changing with demographic trends.

Last fall, New Jersey became the first state to be simultaneously represented by an African American and a Latino senator. Senior Senator Robert Menendez is Cuban American. The state itself is a melting pot of diversity, with a population that is slightly more than 42% black and Latino, according to news reports.

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