Senate poll pits Cunningham against 5 possible opponents in LD-31


State Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31) may face a more formidable challenge than usual in the Democratic primary, as an anonymous poll has pitted her against five different opponents. Sandra Cunningham

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The poll, which has targeted Jersey City and Bayonne residents, asks who voters would choose today if Cunningham ran against Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (both D-31), ex-Assemblyman Charles Mainor, Jersey City Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Watterman or Team Walker, Inc. CEO Jerry Walker.

The poll also asked residents if they would support a candidate endorsed by the Hudson County Democratic Organization of Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

When inquiring if anyone in the poll was considering challenging Cunningham at the polls on June 6, only McKnight hinted it may be a possibility.

“Nothing is off the table, but I haven’t made a decision just yet,” McKnight told Hudson County View today when asked what her plans were for the primary election.

She declined to comment further when asked if a she was leaning towards seeking re-election in the Assembly or running for the Senate seat.

“I’m absolutely interested in the Senate, but I don’t think this year. I’m definitely interested in the freeholder seat as well,” stated Jerry Walker.

He added that it would be “more than likely” his name would be on the ballot for freeholder, as opposed to Senate, this year.

The District 3 freeholder seat is up in the air after incumbent Gerard Balmir announced he would not be seeking re-election earlier this month. His predecessor, Jeff Dublin, kicked off his campaign in September in what could all of a sudden be a competitive affair.

Watterman, who has already announced that she will be seeking re-election on Fulop’s ticket in November, said she couldn’t envision a scenario where she would run for Senate this year.

While Mainor and Chiaravalloti could not immediately be reached, Mainor has already announced he will be running for mayor in Jersey City, while a source close to Chiaravalloti confirmed he will seek re-election in the Assembly this year.

Cunningham, who was first elected to the Senate in 2007, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The deadline to submit petitions for nomination for the June 6 primary elections is April 3.

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