As we enter into a new year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that we accomplished in 2019, and look ahead to all of the exciting things that lie ahead of us in 2020. To say the past two years have been a tremendous success for our Democratic Party would be an understatement, and we’re now united under Governor Phil Murphy’s leadership and ready for 2020. Here are a few of the highlights of the past year:
NJDSC Conference Featuring Nancy Pelosi Draws Record Crowd to Atlantic City
The annual New Jersey State Democratic Committee Conference in Atlantic City drew scores of Democrats this September, with over 2,500 people in attendance. The conference was headlined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Governor Phil Murphy and Senator Cory Booker. The energy and enthusiasm for this event served as the springboard for many Democrats in competitive races throughout the state, and it gave the grassroots of our party an incredible opportunity to connect with our elected officials and party leaders to strengthen the partnerships that are driving our party forward.
NJ Democrats Thrive in 2019 Elections
Continuing a trend that began in 2017 when Governor Murphy ran at the top of the Democratic ticket, our party has continued to pick up major victories at all levels of government. Last year, we worked to flip control of Somerset County government away from the Republicans for the first time since the 1960s while also electing Democratic mayors in Hamilton, Dover, Bergenfield and Dumont. We also successfully defended our legislative majorities, moving previously competitive districts into the Safe Democratic column.
Peg Schaffer Named NJDSC Vice Chair
Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer officially joined our team earlier this year when she was appointed as Vice Chair of the NJDSC. Peg’s ability to bring people together around our Democratic values and win elections is unparalleled, with her success in winning control of her home county a testament to that ability. She’s brought that same spirit to our state party and I’m proud to serve alongside her.
Governor and First Lady Campaign Throughout the State
Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy had another hectic campaign schedule this year, with over 40 GOTV events throughout the state where they connected with Democratic voters and rallied the base. The pair visited dozens of state, county and local campaigns and participated in events ranging from rallies to canvass launches to phone banks and more.
Kevin Olasanoye Appointed New NJDSC Executive Director
In 2019, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee appointed Kevin Olasanoye as the party’s new Executive Director. The former Executive Director of the Rhode Island Democratic Party has ably stepped into the shoes of former Executive Director Liz Gilbert, and he has helped continue pushing NJDSC forward.
21 in 21 Social Media Program Delivers for Candidates During GOTV
This year, in the 21 days leading up to the election, the NJDSC highlighted candidates running for office in every county in the state with our new “21 in 21” social media campaign. Many of these candidates were running in highly competitive areas and were helped greatly by this campaign. Some of the candidates that were featured that later prevailed in their elections were Somerset County Freeholder-elect Melonie Marano, Hamilton Mayor-elect Jeff Martin, Chatham Mayor-elect Thad Kobylarz and Bergenfield Mayor-elect Arvin Amatorio.
NJDSC Continues Investments in Next Generation with Trainings
The New Jersey Democratic Committee has made substantial investments over the last several years in order to train the next generation of Democratic leaders. This continued in 2019, with hundreds of graduates from our training programs now ready to step into leadership roles as candidates and campaign operatives.
All of this is just the beginning. In the year ahead, our party will be working around the clock to take back the White House and defeat President Trump. Our state and our entire nation deserve better than a corrupt administration that’s only focused on making the rich richer and dividing our country further. Our party stands strong against Trump and we will put whatever resources are necessary into defeating him.
Right here at home, we are already preparing for another important Congressional election this November. We’re dedicating every resource we have at the ready to help New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District elect a Democratic leader who don’t turn his or her back on the people for personal gain, by defeating Jeff Van Drew. We’re also working to knock off Republican Chris Smith and re-elect our excellent Democratic delegation, including rising stars like Mikie Sherrill, Josh Gottheimer, Tom Malinowski and Andy Kim who all face competitive races.
I’m proud to say that today our party is stronger than ever before. We have already come so far and we are ready to hit the pavement and fight for a successful 2020. I hope you can join our fight by contributing today to help us start the year strong and get to work to defeat Trump.
Thank you for your support, and on behalf of Vice Chair Schaffer, our fellow Executive Board members Janice Kovach and Kelly Stewart Maer, all of the elected members of the Democratic State Committee, as well as the grassroots activists who are the backbone of our party, I wish you a Happy New Year!
Chairman John Currie