After losing Democratic party support for re-election to a fourth term, Assembly Majority Whip Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne) is going through the motions of running an off the line primary – or positioning himself in case Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis changes his mind.
Chiaravalloti sent an email to Democrats in and out of his Hudson County district on Wednesday seeking electronic signatures for his nominating petitions.
“It would be an honor to continue representing the 31st legislative district – but I can’t do it without you,” Chiaravalloti said.
The move may be Chiaravalloti just showing his teeth in a last ditch effort to save his seat, or a plan to fight for his seat in the June Democratic primary.
A treaty negotiated by Bob Menendez when he was Hudson County Democratic Chairman nearly two decades ago gives the mayor of Bayonne the right to pick a State Assembly member to run on the organization line.
That’s how Chiaravalloti got to the Assembly six years ago after helping Davis oust incumbent Mark Smith.
Now Davis has picked someone else: William B. Sampson IV, a 32-year-old crane operator and Longshoremen’s union official with a shoddy voting record.
Hudson Democrats don’t want to break the treaty, a document that has helped the venerable party machine avoid the type of civil wars of the past.
The filing deadline is April 5.