What is County Committee?
Every two years (or every year, in some places), during the June primaries, registered Democrats in all of Hudson County’s municipalities vote for their representatives to the Hudson County Democratic Committee.
This Committee represents the interests of the county’s Democrats in the selection of the Hudson County Democratic Organization leadership. The party leadership, in turn, decides who the party will endorse in primary elections—i.e. selecting “the line.”
“The line,” is not a figure of speech. In fact, it is the very real first spot on the primary ballot that voters see when they enter the polling booth. It allows the party to attach their preferred candidates in smaller races (Freeholder, County Clerk, etc) to more popular and better known candidates in bigger races (Governor Murphy, Senator Booker, etc). Loyal party members are then encouraged to simply “vote the line” (or “Vote Column A!”), whether or not they know anything about the candidates in smaller races.
The candidates who run on “the line” rarely lose. And since the Democratic Party in Hudson County wins nearly every general election, the party leadership’s endorsements nearly always end up in the office they are selected for. The only way for average Democrats to have their voice heard, then, is through the County Committee.
The Hudson County Progressive Alliance and NJ-08 for Progress hope to increase the transparency and democracy in the County Committee by getting constituents into contact with their Committee People, and encouraging people to run for the Committee this June.
Special thanks to the Good Government Coalition of New Jersey for their help in creating this guide.