District 31 Republican Assembly nominee Matthew Kopko has received the endorsement of former Bayonne Mayor Richard Rutkowski, a Democrat, ahead of the November 3 election.Â
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
â€œI am very proud to have the endorsement and support of former Bayonne Mayor Richard Rutkowski, who served the residents of Bayonne so well during his tenure. Mayor Rutkowski is a solid and trustworthy leader,” Kopko said in a statement.
“He always did what was right for the people, not listening to the winds of the crowd, but following the principles he knew were right.Â I am even more proud that he, along with a host of other proud Democrats, has decided to choose me over their partyâ€™s chosen candidates.”
While the odds aren’t in his favor, Kopko has proven to be a game opponent since the summer, routinely taking shots at both his opponents Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Angela McKnight – as well as the Hudson County Democratic Organization – routinely.
Rutkowski, who led the Peninsula City between 1990 and 1994, said that Kopko “is exactly what the people of the 31st [legislative district] need in the Assembly.”
â€œIâ€™ve gotten to know Matt Kopko and watch him during this race, and I have found him to be exactly what the people of the 31st [legislative district] need in the Assembly. Heâ€™s smart, hardworking and as honest as they come,” Rutkowski exclaimed in the same statement.
“He is a man of honor, something unfortunately I canâ€™t say about everyone in public life. Heâ€™s going to be a refreshing addition to the state Assembly. I am asking all residents of the 31st District to vote for Kopko; I know heâ€™s going to do great things for us.â€
Party lines are seldom crossed in Hudson County elections due to the fact that Democrats overwhelmingly outnumber Republicans. Furthermore, Republican challengers rarely run a campaign with the belief they can beat the machine.
However, Kopko is a live dog in the fight, which likely has something to with why just about every official from Bayonne and Jersey City – as well as U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) – have endorsed Chiaravalloti and McKnight.
The duo of Chiaravalloti and McKnight absolutely steamrolled the competition in the June 2 Democratic primaryÂ and with the backing of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, are expected to have a big advantage in terms of street presence on Election Day.