Former Jersey City Councilwoman Viola Richardson endorsed District 31 Assembly candidates Bruce Alston and Washington Flores at Lincoln Park in Jersey City yesterday.
When answering if the underdogs losing in West New York and North Bergen on Tuesday had him weary of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, Alston remained staunch in what he’s been saying throughout the campaign: the party is very beatable.
“[Bayonne Mayor] Jimmy Davis ran against the HCDO, the HCDO lost. [Jersey City Mayor] Steven Fulop ran against the HCDO, [the] HCDO lost,” Alston said, also noting that West New York Mayor Felix Roque ran without the party’s support in May 2011 and still defeated incumbent Sal Vega.
“So history has shown locally, that the HCDO can lose as long as you have well-organized camps that are committed to serving the people.”
Richardson, a retired Jersey City police officer who lost in the June 2013 Jersey City council run-off elections, said that when a candidate’s message is conveyed clearly, finances don’t impact an election.
“And when people understand what your message is, understand what your platform is, then you’ll understand that money does not vote,” she said. “People actually come out and vote.”
“So ya know, sometimes you don’t have a lot of money, but if you have the people behind you, and people understand what you’re trying to do and how that will impact the city as and the count as a whole, then you get the support.”
L. Harvey Smith, a former Jersey City council president, acting mayor and state assemblyman – who endorsed Alston and Flores last week – was also in attendance yesterday and said “the public wants someone who is going to reflect their view.”
The HCDO’s picks in the race, Angela McKnight and Nicholas Chiaravalloti, are expectedly playing for keeps in this one and have a laundry list of support behind them at this point, so Alston and Flores face an uphill battle.
As of this writing, Fulop, Davis, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), Freeholder Chairman E. Junior Maldonado and former Freeholder Neil Carroll have all thrown their support behind the duo of McKnight and Chiaravalloti.
Jersey City Police Officer Ray Regalado and former Jersey City Democratic Organization Chairman Joe Conte are also entrenched in the District 31 Assembly battle, which culminates in the Democratic primary election on June 2.