Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis exuded a lot of confidence ahead of the May 8th municipal elections, exclaiming that the Peninsula City is turning around due to the “fiscal responsibility” of his administration.
“We started something four years ago: four years ago, I stood up at the Villa Maria and put a video of Broadway to Bruce Springstein’s song ‘My Hometown.’ And it broke my heart. And I knew I had to do something,” Davis recalled at The Chandelier Restaurant.
“But what was more important that night was that 225 people showed up at the Villa Maria that weren’t afraid to say ‘you know what Jimmy, we’re with you.’ And we rolled that into one of the biggest upsets in the history of New Jersey.”
In June 2014, Davis defeated then-Mayor Mark Smith in the runoff election in a clean sweep despite the majority of the Hudson County Democratic Organization siding with the incumbent.
The retired police captain now hopes to make it 2-0 at the polls as he squares off with Jason O’Donnell, a former Assemblyman and city public safety director under Smith.
While Dr. Mitchell Brown is on the ballot next month as well, he’s an independent candidate who has done little to gain traction in the race up to this point.
In 2014, Davis promised to change Bayonne for the better and he clearly expressed that he feels he’s lived up to his word.
“We made a promise that we are going to change Bayonne. And ladies and gentleman, don’t take my word for it, drive around Bayonne and see what’s happening in Bayonne ‘cuz it’s changed,” he said to cheers and applause.
The mayor pointed to Costco and the development of the former Military Ocean Terminal as examples of “fiscal responsibility” that has made his first term a successful one.
Davis, who debated O’Donnell and Brown earlier in the day, scoffed at the notion that Bayonne has gone backwards during his time in office.
“Today, I had what we’d consider a debate and the other two candidates sat there and said ‘Bayonne is worse today than it was four years ago.’ I think they need … I think what they need is an eye doctor.”
Dignitaries in attendance included state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (both D-31), Freeholders Kenny Kopacz (D-1), Anthony Romano (D-5) and Anthony Vainieri (D-8), Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari and the entire Bayonne council.