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Gov. Phil Murphy campaigns on the streets of Bayonne on Nov. 2, 2018. (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe)

Murphy demurs on Hudson tradition that allows mayors to make legislative picks

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis invoking rule against Chiaravalloti, and Hudson Democrats likely to play along

By Nikita Biryukov, March 03 2021 3:46 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy demurred on a long-standing that allows the mayor of Bayonne to pick one of the 31st legislative district’s candidates as Mayor Jimmy Davis prepares to invoke it for a seat held by Assembly Minority Whip Nicholas Chiaravalloti.

“I don’t have a specific reaction. That has been a tradition. Jimmy is a terrific mayor, and Nick is a terrific assemblyman,” Murphy said Wednesday. “Where this ends up, I don’t know, but they’re each stars as well in that respect.”

After more than a dozen interviews with individuals involved in local and county politics in Hudson, the New Jersey Globe has learned party leaders there won’t block Davis’s decision even as some top-ranking Democrats in the state lobbied on Chiaravalloti’s behalf.

Murphy numbers among that group.

“I won’t get into the contents of the details of a private conversation, but I had a good conversation with both Nick but also with the mayor and a couple of other folks in Hudson County,” he said.

It’s not clear why Davis has targeted Chiaravalloti, who few Hudson Democrats believe could win re-election off the line.

It’s also unclear who the mayor might tap to fill Chiaravalloti’s Assembly seat, though Davis has hinted it might be an outsider and told the party they would like his choice.

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