Chiaravalloti to face a primary challenge?

Bayonne Mayor James Davis reportedly wants to replace the assemblyman

From left to right: Assemblyman Chiaravalloti, Gov. Murphy, Mayor Davis
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From left to right: Assemblyman Chiaravalloti, Gov. Murphy, Mayor Davis

While Bayonne Mayor James Davis and Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti have been close allies since being elected to office in 2014 and 2015 respectively, it appears the partnership has ended. Chiaravalloti represents the 31st Legislative District, which includes Bayonne.

It was first reported in three local media outlets – Hudson County View, TAPinto Bayonne, and New Jersey Globe, – that Davis told Chiaravalloti and the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) on Feb. 26 that he would not support Chiaravalloti in the June primary election. It is not clear why. The outlets attributed the information to an anonymous source, not unusual in stories of political intrigue in Hudson County.

Davis flexes his political muscle

A spokesperson for Chiaravalloti said the Assemblyman does not have any comment at this time. Davis could not be reached for comment. 

While the final decision whether to support Chiaravalloti or not is in the hands of HCDO Chair Amy DeGise, Hudson County political tradition holds that the mayors of cities or towns in the legislative district have the power to choose state assembly and state senate nominations.

DeGise could not be reached for comment.

The HCDO will have until the April 5 filing deadline to make a decision to keep Chiaravalloti or pick another candidate. The primary will take place on June 8.

First nominated by Davis after his election to mayor, Chiaravalloti is seeking his fourth term in the Assembly. Currently, he serves as the Majority Whip in the Assembly, responsible for securing party votes for legislation.

Chiaravalloti was poised to run unopposed in the upcoming primary until this twist. Representatives of both Governor Phil Murphy and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin have reached out to Davis, encouraging him to keep Chiaravalloti on the ticket. Murphy is running for re-election at the top of the ticket and is appealing for unity.

While his future remains unclear, Chiaravalloti has more than $44,000 in the bank for his re-election campaign, according to state filings from late January, and future fundraiser events are still planned.

It is not clear whom Davis will replace Chiaravalloti with if he gets his way.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.