By Cleve Bryan


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is taking the stage at the Democratic State Committee Conference in Atlantic City Friday. The themes of the day were uniting the Democratic Party for a progressive agenda and keeping momentum from the 2018 blue wave going for another year.

Pelosi’s presence and her decision to begin an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump are definitely energizing New Jersey Democrats.

With fiery speeches from the likes of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, more than 2,000 New Jersey Democrats gathered at Harrah’s Convention Center for the annual New Jersey Democratic State Committee Conference.

Their goal is to continue building off momentum from the 2018 elections, where anti-Trump feelings at the polls resulted in widespread gains for the Democratic Party.

“I want to continue the blue wave that we started, where we flipped local seats on down-ballot candidates with our council people, our freeholders, as well as mayors,” said John Currie, the chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.

This year’s conference features a visit from perhaps the most important Democrat in America right now. Currie says Pelosi’s decision to initiate articles of impeachment against President Trump this week has broad support with New Jersey Democrats.

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Also in attendance were New Jersey Sens. Corey Booker and Bob Menendez, who is the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

On Friday, he announced a letter a sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other high-ranking officials, asking questions about President Trump allegedly holding up foreign aid to Ukraine earlier this year for political gain.

“I hope that my colleagues in the Senate, particularly in the Republican majority, will join me in getting to the truth. It’s a time to be a patriot over a partisan,” Menendez said.

Conference officials say prior to Trump’s election about 700 to 800 people would attend the conference. This year, about 2,500 people attended the conference.