Bayonne City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski has officially launched her mayoral campaign. She will challenge incumbent Mayor James Davis on May 10, 2022.
At a crowded gathering at her campaign headquarters on 895 Broadway on Dec. 8, Ashe-Nadrowski made her official announcement. Over a hundred supporters, some listening from outside the venue, came out to hear the mayoral hopeful make her official announcement, with chants of “Sharon! Sharon!” and other cheers erupting at times during her speech.
“Over the last several years, I have heard the question many times,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “Many people have asked me, people who are in this room here tonight if I was running for mayor. Well I’m here tonight to answer that question. Yes, I am running for mayor.”
Speculation had been rampant for some time that Ashe-Nadrowski would run for mayor, but was finally confirmed earlier this month when it was discovered she had filed the paperwork to run. Ashe-Nadrowski is running against Davis, whom she had successfully run with in both 2014 and 2018 for her current council seat.
Hours before her announcement, a spokesperson for Davis released an optimistic statement regarding the election. Davis has yet to officially announce his reelection campaign, but made sure to make it clear he is running again.
“Mayor Davis is running for re-election on his record of moving Bayonne forward and delivering the progress that residents deserve, and he’s confident that the people will continue supporting him regardless of the opponent,” said spokesperson Phil Swibinski.
‘City Hall is broken’
Ashe-Nadrowski will roll out an official platform soon, but in her speech she has already taken aim at the Davis Administration and emphasized the need to reclaim the city government for the people. She has been clashing with the mayor over a number of issues recently, from opposing eminent domain against the Bayonne Medical Center property to lawsuits filed against the mayor by both current and former municipal employees. Ashe-Nadrowski also hit Davis regarding dirty streets and claims of increasing crime.
“It was never my goal to run for mayor,” she said. “It was only my goal to help the community to be the best it can be. But Bayonne has lost its track. We are no longer for everybody. Too many times I have heard residents come up to me saying: ‘Hey, I can’t get any help at City Hall. I can’t get a question answered.’ Too many times somebody has a friend or neighbor stopped me on the street to express their frustration in what is happening in our town. I cannot just stand by and let that happen. That’s not who I am. I’m the kind of person who stands up and fights for what is right.”
Ashe-Nadrowski touted her accomplishments while on the council, including the redevelopment of the former Military Ocean Terminal at Bayonne (MOTBY), the renovation of a number of municipal parks, and investments into Broadway. However, she emphasized the need to fix many issues plaguing the city.
“When I ran for council in the City of Bayonne, I ran to make Bayonne a better place,” she said. “And we did that. We fixed a lot of the problems that existed in Bayonne. We redeveloped the base. We invested in our schools and our parks, and we opened up the government for all. But that’s no longer the truth. City Hall is broken. It no longer functions. We need a government that is more open and transparent. We need a government that is proactive. We need a government that is for all of Bayonne.”
A historic candidacy
Ashe-Nadrowski emphasized the need for City Hall and the Bayonne residents to work as a team, having frequently been on teams growing up as an athlete in the city at both St. Andrew’s School and Bayonne High School. While she has been working as a Microsoft database engineer for over two decades, Ashe-Nadrowski is also currently the Athletic Director for All Saints Catholic Academy and track coach.
“I grew up in a house where we were taught to work together, not only as a family, but as a neighborhood,” she said. “From my coaches in St. Andrew’s to my coaches at Bayonne High School, they all told us that teamwork is how things get done. When you work as a team, you win. When you don’t, you lose. I also learned in 1st Street Park playing basketball that every team needs a leader: someone to set the tone, someone to call the plays, and someone to make sure that we are playing together as a team. Not just someone to show up and take credit when the work is done, but someone who listens and recognizes when there are problems and is willing to do the work to help solve them.”
Ashe-Nadrowski said she is just the woman for the job. And if elected, she will be the first female mayor of Bayonne.
“You all know my story,” she said. “You know who I am. When I tell you I am on your side, I stand with you, I show up. I am not afraid to tell anyone the truth or to make decisions. You know that when I make a promise, I keep it. I am proud of Bayonne, I was born and raised in Bayonne. I don’t plan on leaving Bayonne. But if we are going to keep Bayonne strong and keep Bayonne as the community where families want to raise their children, then we need a change in leadership.”
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.