Ex-Bayonne Mayor Rutkowski, a Democrat, endorses Republican Kopko for Assembly


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. 

Photo courtesy of Kopko for Assembly campaign.
Photo courtesy of Kopko for Assembly campaign.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I 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. I am even more proud that he, along with a host of other proud Democrats, has decided to choose me over their party’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.”

“I’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. He’s smart, hardworking and as honest as they come,” Rutkowski exclaimed in the same statement.

“He is a man of honor, something unfortunately I can’t say about everyone in public life. He’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 he’s going to do great things for us.”

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.

Nick, Angela endorsements


The duo of Chiaravalloti and McKnight absolutely steamrolled the competition in the June 2 Democratic primary 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.

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  1. I don’t EVER vote for republicans. However, his ideas for creating a tech and engineering hub in lieu of a casino deserve real consideration. It’s not the usual short-term idiocy.

    Why would democrats oppose this in favor of the unsustainable vice-driven ugliness of a casino?