Tom Cotter has resigned his seat on the Bayonne city council to become the new Department of Public Works.
The city council will name a replacement for Cotter’s first ward seat, followed by a November 2019 special election to fill the remaining 32 months of his term.
Sources say that the leading candidate to replace Cotter is 27-year-old Neil Carroll III, the grandson of former Hudson County Freeholder Neil Carroll and an aide to Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti.
That could set up a rematch of an old Bayonne family rivalry: sources say that former assemblyman Jason O’Donnell is a possible candidate for the council seat, a post that could set a political comeback in motion going into the 2022 mayoral campaign.
O’Donnell is the nephew, by marriage, of Phil Connelly, who ran for freeholder against Carroll in 1993. He was also a top political ally of Bayonne mayor Mark Smith, who is Carroll’s son-in-law. That put some strains on the family last year when Smith was mulling a rematch against Jimmy Davis, who had the support of Carroll III.