This story has been updated with Pat O’Brien endorsing the Hudson County Democratic Organization’s District 31 Assembly pick out of Bayonne, Nicholas Chiaravalloti.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Just one day after announcing he would be running alongside Jersey City businessman Bruce Alston in the District 31 Assembly race, Bayonne firefighter Pat O’Brien has withdrawn his candidacy.
In a subsequent press release, he has now endorsed Chiaravalloti.
“Nicholas is a Bayonne guy who will look out for us, and I will continue to work with Mayor Jimmy Davis and his team in the best interest of the City of Bayonne,” O’Brien said in a statement.
“Bayonne has a candidate that can and will serve it well in Trenton. I’m proud to endorse Nicholas Chiaravalloti for the Assembly.”
In what is easily shaping up to be the most tumultuous Assembly race in Hudson County, Alston confirmed with Hudson County View that his District 31 running mate has backed out of the election.
“I will not announce my next running mate until the day after petitions are due,” Alston said, noting that O’Brien broke the news via text message this evening.
“This is a weird election. It’s hard for people who are public service employees to run against people who are in power due to fear of retaliation: let’s face the facts, this does happen in Hudson County.“
Alston didn’t stop there in accusing operatives of the Hudson County Democratic Organization of forcing O’Brien out of the election.
“I’m going to have to protect my next candidate because it’s obvious the HCDO (Hudson County Democratic Organization) wants me to run alone. It’s a Democracy for everyone else in the United States besides Hudson County, where we don’t believe in letting the people select their candidates.”
At yesterday’s press conference, O’Brien said he has “always been interested in politics” and “I thought it was a good time in my life to get involved” in politics.
Sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told Hudson County View that Mayor Jimmy Davis, a neighbor of O’Brien, was furious about his announcement to run with Alston and ultimately played a factor in him not running.
O’Brien also told Hudson County View yesterday that he worked on Davis’ mayoral election campaign for “five or six months” last year, which led to him having the desire to eventually seek office himself.
Davis is supporting Chiaravalloti in the District 31 Assembly race.
Needless to say, Chiaravalloti graciously accepted O’Brien’s support.
“I’m honored to accept Patrick’s endorsement and I look forward to working with him to do more for our community,” Chiaravalloti stated in a statement. “I have nothing but mutual respect and admiration for Patrick O’Brien and his family.”
“I’m grateful that he chose to put the needs of our community above those of his own. In my mind, that’s what it means to be a true leader.
The news comes hours after Hudson County View exclusively reported that Jersey City Police Det. Dejon Morris has also thrown his hat into the unpredictable Assembly scrap in District 31 a midst rumors that Denise Ridley, Chiaravalloti’s running mate, has been kicked off the HCDO line.
O’Brien could not be reached for comment by Hudson County View.