Bayonne residents are set to go to the polls on May 10 in the nonpartisan municipal election. Up for grabs is each of the five city council seats and the office of the mayor.
March 7 was the filing deadline to submit petitions to run for office in the May election. According to a list of candidates forwarded to the Bayonne Community News by the City Clerk Madeline Medina, there are a total of 16 residents seeking a seat in local government.
While most of the candidates present have already announced they were throwing their names into the hat, the list revealed additional candidates.
Four vying for mayor
Running for mayor is incumbent Mayor James Davis, City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski, and Dr. Mitchell Brown. While the first two had publicly announced their intentions to run prior to the deadline, the list shows Brown has also filed to run for mayor.
Brown, born and raised in Brooklyn, lived in Hoboken before moving to Bayonne in 2001. Brown has been working as both a doctor and lawyer for over two decades, having received a law degree from Rutgers University and a medical degree from Ross University in Dominica. While Brown previously ran for mayor in 2018 unsuccessfully, he is taking his chances again in 2022. He could not be reached for comment.
Former Bayonne Board of Education Trustee Michael Alonso filed to run, but failed to get enough qualified signatures on his nominating petition to continue his campaign, according to the Bayonne City Clerk’s Office.
First Ward contenders
The First Ward includes the area from the south side of 16th Street between Newark Bay and Kennedy Boulevard, and from the south side of 17th Street between Kennedy Boulevard and Constable Hook, in a southerly direction to and including First Street.
Running are First Ward City Councilman Neil Carroll and small business owner Julie Sanchez Lynch. Carroll and Sanchez Lynch had previously announced they were running as part of Team Davis and Team Ashe-Nadrowski, respectively.
Bayonne Housing Authority Commissioner John Cupo filed to run on an independent slate, but he also failed to submit enough signatures to run, according to the City Clerk’s Office.
New faces in Second Ward contest
The Second Ward includes the area from the north side of 16th Street between Newark Bay and Kennedy Boulevard, and the north side of 17th Street between Kennedy Boulevard and Constable Hook, to and including the south side of 32nd Street. Running in the Second Ward is bank executive Jacqueline Weimmer and real estate manager George Vinc.
Three-way showdown in Third Ward
The Third Ward includes the area from the north side of 32nd Street to the border with Jersey City. Running in the Third Ward is Councilman Gary La Pelusa, Board of Education President Maria Valado, and former council candidate Peter Franco.
La Pelusa is running with Team Davis and Valado with Team Ashe-Nadrowski. Meanwhile, Franco, a vocal critic of the Davis Administration, will run independent of a slate for the Third Ward. Franco first became active in local politics as a volunteer for the unsuccessful mayoral campaign by Anthony Zanowic in 2014.
Following that, Franco began attending council meetings frequently, clashing with sitting officials over a plethora of issues over the years. He unsuccessfully ran in the special election in the First Ward in 2019, but this time Franco is running for the Third Ward. He wants the community to have more input in the city’s decision-making and if elected, he plans to hold district meetings in the Third Ward to address local issues.
“I look forward to a spirited debate with all the candidates on the issues affecting uptown,” Franco said in a statement after filing.
Former city employee Stacie Percella, who is involved in active litigation against Davis and the city, had declared she was running for the Third Ward seat at the February meeting of the Bayonne City Council. However, she did not appear on the list of candidates who filed to run in the upcoming election.
At-Large council candidates
There are no new candidates for the at-large council seats that had not already announced their intention to run. Candidates for the seats, which encompass the entire city, include City Councilman At-Large Juan Perez, former police officer Lloyad Booker, Bayonne Police Athletic League Executive Director “KT” Kim Torello, Board of Education Trustee Jodi Casais, businesswoman Carissa Lintao, and Board of Education Trustee Denis Wilbeck.
Perez and Booker are a part of Team Davis, while Casais and Torello are on Team Ashe-Nadrowski. Running independent of a slate are Lintao and Wilbeck.
The election will be held on May 10. However, if the council approves an ordinance to do so, there may be early voting on May 6, 7 and 8 during the weekend before the election.
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.