Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) sent out an email blast this evening asking supporters to sign an online petition for nomination as a potential showdown with the Mayor Jimmy Davis-backed William Sampson IV begins to look likely.
“It is an honor to represent Bayonne and Jersey City in Trenton. Moving New Jersey and Hudson County forward as your 31st Legislative District Assemblyman is a privilege. I ran for public office not because I needed a job, but because a job needed to be done,” the New Jersey Assembly Majority Whip said in the email.
“It would be an honor to continue representing the 31st Legislative District – but I can’t do it without you! Will you support me by signing my petition to get my name on this year’s Primary Election ballot?”
A three-term assemblyman first elected in 2015, Chiaravalloti had been seen as one of Davis’ closest political allies until he suddenly wasn’t about a month ago.
Despite hearing from top state leaders including Gov. Phil Murphy (D), Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19), U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and others, Davis wouldn’t reverse course in late February after telling Chiaravalloti that he wouldn’t have his support in the June 8th primary.
The Peninsula City mayor has not publicly disclosed what his falling out with Chiaravalloti was about, but about two weeks ago he named Sampson, a longshoreman and crane operator, as his preferred assembly candidate.
Sampson will have the backing of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, though Chiaravalloti has been fundraising throughout the year and will also be able to tout his legislative record in Trenton.
Furthermore, The New Jersey Globe recently reported that Sampson has never voted in a Democratic primary, though he later defended himself by saying missing elections could help him motivate other young people who don’t vote.
Chiaravalloti unsuccessfully ran off the line for the 31st Legislative District assembly seat in 2007 before winning easily with the backing of the HCDO in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
Anyone seeking to run in the June 8th primary must submit 100 valid petitions of nomination to the Hudson County Clerk’s Office by 4 p.m. on April 5th.