A long-time New Jersey State Senator is gaining momentum to become the next democratic state party chairman.

Courtesy: NJ Legislature

Ray Lesniak has been endorsed by several of NJ's top Dems as the battle-tested leader democrats need at the helm of the state party through this year’s important elections -- the United States Senate special election and the November gubernatorial and legislative general elections.

Lesniak was endorsed by: Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senate Budget Boss Paul Sarlo, and Senate President Pro-Tempore Nia Gill and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, as well as Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald.

"I have seen first-hand Ray's ability to bring everyone in the room together for the common good," says Senate President Sweeney. "That energetic ability to bridge divides is what Democrats need most. This year is too important for our party and our state. We need Ray's experience and his willingness to take our case directly to the people to unify us and lead us to victory."

Assembly Speaker Oliver adds, "Both within our state and nationally, Ray Lesniak is respected not only for his experience and intellect, but for his political ability. As the eyes of the nation again fall upon New Jersey, we cannot pass up the chance to have such a well-regarded leader at the helm of our party."

Lesniak has also been endorsed by other state democratic legislators, including: Senators Jim Beach, Fred Madden, Donald Norcross, Teresa Ruiz, Nicholas Scutari, Jeff Van Drew and Jim Whelan; Assembly members Nelson Albano, Bob Andrzejczak, John Burzichelli, Herb Conaway, Angel Fuentes, Pamela Lampitt, Paul Moriarty, Gabriela Mosquera, Celeste Riley, Troy Singleton and Gilbert "Whip" Wilson.

Poitickernj reports democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono favors Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell to be the next State Chairman, so there’s at least some degree of divide within the Democratic party ranks.