2014 Feuds of the Year – Number 10: Jimmy Davis vs. Mark Smith

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Bayonne usually has a problem getting on the map of Hudson County political scuffles, it happens when you live in Jersey City’s shadow, but the mayoral scrap between then-Mayor Mark Smith and then-police captain Jimmy Davis was a hard-hitting affair by anyone’s standards. 

Smith initially played nice, targeting the fact that Davis had moved from Bayonne to Rahway for several years, before bringing out the heavy guns: pointing out that Davis friend and campaign worker Pat Desmond had been hit with multiple cocaine possession charges and got caught stealing thousands of dollars from a church.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PagY4A4vXD8[/fve]

Davis wasn’t about to be a punching bag, noting that Smith never made good on his promises to redevelop Broadway and the Military Ocean Terminal (MOT).

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hprsM0sd_jk[/fve]

Davis also gained the support of the Bayonne Teachers’ union – who were working without a contract for 5 years – and pushed for a voter referendum changing the board of education from appointed to elected, which passed with overwhelming support.

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_kzfGP-Gv8
[/fve]

When the smoke settled, Davis pushed Smith to the brink on the May 13 election – losing by the slimmest of margins: 48.65 percent of the vote to 47.33 percent of the vote.

This pushed a runoff election on June 10, which Davis won handily, despite getting outspent by a roughly 10-to-1 margin.

Here is a Hudson County View clip of when U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) swore in Davis on July 1: [fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yMiSyovoeY[/fve]

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