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Former councilwoman challenges Bayonne mayor for Democratic committee chair

Litmus test for Mayor James Davis

Mary Jane Desmond seeks to bring "progressive leadership" to the BCRDO.

Former Bayonne councilwoman and former Board of Education Trustee Mary Jane Desmond has announced she will challenge Mayor James Davis to become the chair of the local Democratic committee, which is responsible for things like fundraising, getting out the vote, and selecting candidates.

Desmond wants to breathe new life into the Bayonne City Regular Democratic Organization, she said in a statement. She said the organization was complacent, claiming that it has been dormant with no local engagement.

“The BCRDO has not held events, raised money or done anything to register new voters,” Desmond said. “Recently, there was no formal support of the Biden/Harris ticket.”

Controversial decisions

Desmond slammed Davis’s decision to boot Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti from the Hudson County Democratic Organization line as well as the move to condemn the Bayonne Medical Center property through eminent domain.

“The most egregious move was the last-minute decision to replace Bayonne’s current and experienced Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Majority Whip and the third highest ranking Democrat,” Desmond said. “After years of Bayonne and Hudson County working back into a leadership role at the state level, this novice decision may hugely impact Bayonne’s financial future.”

Desmond ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic Primary for County Clerk in 2007, on a ticket that included Chiaravalloti.

‘Progressive leadership’

“As chairperson of the BCRDO, I will bring fresh and progressive leadership to the party,” Desmond said. “There will be more work to support local, statewide and national elections, and I believe working with young voters and new residents to engage them in the democratic process should be prioritized.”

Desmond said she will “recruit and endorse candidates who are real Democrats.”

“I also would introduce a screening process in order to guarantee the most qualified candidates to represent Bayonne,” she said. “Finally, I will introduce reforms to the BCRDO and the HCDO [the Hudson County Democratic Organization] bylaws that allow for greater representation and eliminate discriminatory policies.”

Re-election woes?

Davis is seeking re-election for a third term as mayor in November, and the committee election will undoubtedly serve as a litmus test for the viability of any potential challengers to the incumbent mayor.

Home to approximately 102 members, the BCRDO will hold its reorganization meeting at the Catholic War Veterans Post at 18 West 23rd Street on June 23.

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.

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