With a significant portion of the Hudson County Democratic Organization on hand, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis formally kicked off his re-election bid for a third term at the Chandelier Restaurant last night.
“There’s different reasons that people run but I can honestly say that our team is running for the right reasons … What I want to do is make sure that Bayonne is a better place when I’m done in politics than it was before,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Gary La Pelusa, who is seeking his fourth term in the May 10th municipal elections.
“It’s great to see everybody here today: are you ready to rumble baby! … We’re out there working hard, we’re gonna take this, we’re gonna whomp ‘em, and we’re gonna beat the living daylight out of em!,” exclaimed Councilman-at-Large Juan Perez.
The kickoff, which saw hundreds of supporters on hand, was also the first time 2nd Ward council candidate Jacqueline Weimmer and Councilman-at-Large candidate Loyad Booker address a crowd.
“Bayonne is my hometown, it’s where my heart has always been. I think this team have taken us to a very good place, [but] I think we could be in a better place and I want to be a part of that,” said Weimmer, who is hoping to replace Sal Gullace, who isn’t seeking re-election.
“After 25 years of service with the Bayonne Police Department, under the continued leadership of Police Chief Rob Geisler – it has been my privilege and honor to serve this community … Everyone in this room right now is a part of Bayonne history – now is the time, make it happen,” stated Booker, running to unseat Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.
Nadrowski, who successfully ran with Davis in 2014 and 2018, announced her first two running mates this morning: Board of Education Trustee Jodi Casais and PAL Executive Director KT Torello.
Back at the Chandelier, Assemblyman Will Sampson IV, who got the Democratic part line over Assembly Majority Whip Nick Chiaravalloti last year after a still unclear falling out with Davis, enthusiastically introduced the mayor as the “Rocky” theme blared over the speakers.
“Lets talk about the elephant in the room: you’ve seen the ads, you’ve seen the paper, they’ve tried to destroy our mayor, my leader, but he’s resilient,” he asserted, praising Davis for making him the first Black assemblyman from Bayonne.
If elected, Booker would be the first Black councilman to sit on the dais in the Peninsula City.
Davis thanked his family for sticking by his side, noting that he recently became a grandfather and that their are now four generations of James Davises in Bayonne, before taking aim at Nadrowski.
“Their motto is City Hall is broken. City Hall is broken: think about that. Think about where we’ve been for the last two years … Any City Hall employee here today should feel disrespected from that statement,” he began.
“Because for the last two years our City Hall employees have shown up and taken care of this city for everything we need … Their one line was ‘City Hall closed right when we needed them.’ Well let me tell you something: City Hall never closed, we were there every single day … City Hall is not broken, City Hall never went anywhere.”
While no formal endorsements were made, Davis saw a ton of establishment support.
Attendees included state Senators Sandra Cunningham (D-31) and Nick Sacco (D-32), Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31), County Commissioners Kenny Kopacz (D-1), who served as the emcee, Bill O’Dea (D-2), Anthony Romano (D-5), and Anthony Vainieri (D-8), the chairman of the board, County Sheriff Frank Schillari, County Executive Tom DeGise, County Register Jeff Dublin, East Newark Mayor Dina Grillo, Guttenberg Mayor Wayne Zitt, and Kearny Mayor Al Santos, among many others.