Mayor Davis re-elected chair of local Democratic committee

Tax Collector Rosemarie Martinez was elected vice chair

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Mayor Davis and other officials march in the first-ever Juneteenth parade in Bayonne. Photo by Daniel Israel.
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Mary Jane Desmond challenged Davis for committee chair but could not get a second on her nomination.
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Mayor Davis and other officials march in the first-ever Juneteenth parade in Bayonne. Photo by Daniel Israel.
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Mary Jane Desmond challenged Davis for committee chair but could not get a second on her nomination.

Bayonne Mayor James Davis was reelected as chair of the local Democratic committee, the Bayonne City Regular Democratic Organization, on June 23.

Earlier in the week, former city councilwoman and Board of Education trustee Mary Jane Desmond announced she would challenge Davis for his seat as committee chair. She decided to run because she felt the local organization was lackluster when it came to supporting candidates, fundraising and getting out the vote.

Other reasons included recent controversial decisions by Davis, including the booting of state Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti from the Hudson County Democratic Organization line and the process of condemning the Bayonne Medical Center property through eminent domain.

Nomination not seconded 

While Desmond sought to bring “progressive leadership” to the organization, she fell short. Desmond’s bid failed after no one present at the meeting seconded her nomination. Davis was then nominated and subsequently reelected to his seat as committee chair.

“I want to thank the committee people of Bayonne for entrusting me, with a unanimous vote, to continue leading our Democratic Organization,” Davis said in a statement following the reorganization meeting.

Following her loss, Desmond took to social media to congratulate Davis. But according to Desmond, she is not going away.

Mary Jane Desmond challenged Davis for committee chair but could not get a second on her nomination.

“Congrats Jimmy Davis – he retains Chairperson status,” Desmond said in a statement. “Hope he’s inspired to do the right thing for committee members and other elected Democrats.”

New vice chair

While Davis held on to his position as chair, the vice chair was not so lucky. Incumbent Vice Chair Erica Daughtrey, communications director for Rep. Albio Sires (D-08), lost her position to Bayonne Tax Collector Rosemarie Martinez.

The final vote was 69-22, with 91 of the 102 committee members present at the meeting.

“I also want to congratulate Rosemarie Martinez on her election to Vice Chair and all other elected officials; Executive Director – Ben Costanza; Treasurer- Brian Dellabella; Secretary – Cindy Cepeda; Recording Secretary – Neil Carroll III; Parliamentarian – Paul Weeks; Sergeant-At-Arms – Alicia Losonczy; and Counsel – Mike Miceli,” Davis said. “We will continue to work hard for ALL the people of Bayonne and revitalizing our great city!”

The committee chair election was thought to be a litmus test for Davis ahead of his bid for a third term as mayor. The results may indicate potential challengers to Davis could face a challenge in November.

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.