With consolidation of the two Princetons looming, the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee held a reorganization meeting last week. The gathering, at which officers were elected and bylaws adopted, was the first since the Princeton Borough Democratic Municipal Committee and the Princeton Township Democratic Municipal Committee were combined into one new entity.
“It’s historic,” said Peter Wolanin, the new Municipal Chair and the former chair of the Borough committee, this week. “The recent primary was effectively our first consolidated Princeton election. So here is really concrete evidence that consolidation is happening.”
The committee met on June 11. It consists of members of the Mercer County Democratic Committee who were elected in Princeton’s new consolidated voting districts on the primary ballot. Each voting district has one male and one female committee seat. The committee recruits and supports Democratic candidates, makes endorsements in the primary, and is the official Democratic Party organization in Princeton.
The committee is separate from the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO), which is a club that any registered Democrat can join. “The average person doesn’t always understand what the roles of the two are,” said Mr. Wolanin. “Just for historical reference, at one point in Princeton’s history there were two Democratic clubs. The club doesn’t have any exclusive rights, it is just a social club. It is the municipal and county committee that have a state mandated role.”
At the reorganization meeting, 22 committee members were present. In addition to electing officers and adopting bylaws, the committee authorized the officers to conduct business including setting up a new political party committee under the regulations of the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. Jon Durbin, who chaired the Township Democratic Municipal Committee since 2010, was elected first vice-chair of the new body. Doreen Blanc-Rockstrom was elected second vice-chair.
“It’s going to be a busy year,” Mr. Wolanin said. “We have our Democratic candidates for the six council seats and for mayor, so those are important to us. We also have the race in the 16th district, which is not so much on people’s radar. A lot of people don’t realize that in Princeton we are represented by three Republicans in the state legislature. So this is a good chance to win some of those seats. And the presidential election already seems like it’s going to be quite a fight.”