Sources: Denise Ridley will get HCDO line for Assembly race in LD-31


Although it appeared that either Jersey City Councilwoman-at-Large Joyce Watterman or Hudson County Parks & Community Services Director Michelle Richardson would get the support of the Hudson County Democratic Organization for the District 31 Assembly race, that distinction will ultimately go to Denise Ridley.

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By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Multiple sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, revealed Ridley as the choice in LD-31 this morning.

Ridley, who was elected as a Ward A committeewoman in June 2013, used to work in the office of incumbent Charles Mainor (D-31), who supported her candidacy.

According to sources, Ridley is viewed as a compromise pick between state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31) and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

While Mainor has recently maintained that he will still seek re-election, sourced say that he will ultimately drop out, so Ridley’s only opponent could be local activist Bruce Alston.

As reports have stated for months, Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31), an ally of former Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith, has been shunned by the HCDO in favor of attorney Nick Chiaravaloti – a former State Director under U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

Whether or not O’Donnell seeks re-election off the line remains up in the air and he could not be reached for comment as of this writing.

The HCDO will announce their State Assembly and County Executive picks at a press conference at the Brennan Court House, 583 Newark Ave. in Jersey City, at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Mainor did not return calls seeking comment, while Ridley could not be reached for comment.

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