Mayor James Davis avoids runoff in Bayonne

City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski has conceded but will remain active in the community

Mayor James Davis has claimed victory in the 2022 nonpartisan municipal election in Bayonne, according to Hudson County Board of Elections Clerk Michael Harper, and has officially been re-elected for third term.

The confirmation of Davis’ win followed the counting of hundreds of provisional ballots from two wards on May 17. The ballots gave Davis enough votes to avoid a runoff with his biggest opponent, City Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski.

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Election results clear a week later

On Election Night on May 10, Davis led Ashe-Nadrowski by 779 votes, with a 80 vote cushion to avoid a runoff. He was holding at 50.81 percent of the vote to Ashe-Nadrowski’s 42.67 percent and needed to stay above 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff. She needed votes to break in her favor by nearly a margin of 2 to 1.

Throughout the rest of the week and the weekend, more vote-by-mail and other ballots were counted, which saw Davis gain 42 votes to Ashe-Nadrowski’s 43 by May 12. That brought Davis’ lead by 778 votes to 4,905 or 50.79 percent of the vote to her 4,127 votes or 42.73 percent. That also yielded a smaller cushion of 75 votes to avoid a runoff. Vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by Election Day were accepted by until 6 p.m. on May 16.

However, after 288 provisional ballots were counted on May 17, Davis managed to avoid a runoff. The provisional ballots cast in the First Ward and Second Ward have gave Davis over at least 105 vote cushion to avoid a runoff with Ashe-Nadrowski.

Team Davis with a clean sweep

As of May 17 at 4 p.m., Davis finished with 5,048 votes or 50.94 percent of the vote, to Ashe-Nadrowski’s 4,218 votes or 42.57 percent, and doctor and lawyer Mitchell Brown’s 630 votes or 6.3 percent. According to still-unofficial election results, there were also 13 write-in votes or .13 percent of the vote, with a total of 9,909 votes cast for mayor.

Of the 288 provisional ballots, 11 were voided and another 21 were disqualified because the voter was unregistered. The rest of the votes will be counted by the end of the day, but there is no other route forward for a runoff between Davis and Ashe-Nadrowski.

In addition, the two At-Large City Council candidates retired police officer Loyad Booker also won without a runoff, finishing over the 20 percent plus one vote threshold. While he was dozens of votes away from a runoff following Election Night, he finished nearly 50 votes ahead of that number.

Booker makes history by being the first Black city council member in Bayonne, in what was set to be a historic election regardless considering Ashe-Nadrowski would have been the first female mayor. The rest of Davis’ council ticket was also elected, including First Ward City Councilman Neil Carroll, Second Ward Council candidate Jacqueline Weimmer, and Third Ward City Councilman Gary La Pelusa.

What’s next for Sharon?

On Election Night, Davis declared victory while Ashe-Nadrowski was holding on for a runoff.

Following the counting of provisional ballots on May 17, Davis spokesperson Phil Swibinski said they would not be putting out another statement. The next day on May 18, Ashe-Nadrowski conceded in a statement on social media.

“As the election has come to an end, I would like to thank everyone who joined me on this journey: running mates, our team, family, friends, and most importantly our supporters and the great community,” Ashe-Nadrowski said. “Although we came up short, I am proud of the issue-based campaign I ran. Throughout my tenure as Council President, I was honored to hear the concerns of residents and work towards making Bayonne better. Over the last six months I have heard firsthand the issues facing our city and was happy to bring them to light and offer real solutions. I plan to stay involved in the community I love. Serving Bayonne has been a great honor and I wish all the best to everyone who serves our community.”

Now Davis looks ahead to his third term. He is set to be sworn in at the municipal chambers at City Hall at 630 Avenue C on July 1.

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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