If State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) winds up running for Hudson County Executive, Democrats would need to fill her 31st district State Senate seat at a January 2020 special election. After that, a special primary in June and a special general in November – followed by redistricting for the 2021 race.
Two possible Senate candidates: Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Jersey City) and Jersey City Councilwoman Joyce Waterman. Waterman would be a potential candidate for the Assembly if Democrats move McKnight up to the Senate.
McKnight and Waterman are somewhat obvious short-listers, but the list could grow. The decision is 22 months from now – an eternity anywhere, but especially in volatile Hudson County – and if Cunningham isn’t picked to run for County Executive, then the discussion is moot.
Cunningham has expressed interest in running for county executive in the past — that and Mayor of Jersey City — so she is in the mix. She’s no fan of Tom DeGise, who ran for mayor against her late husband in 2001 and with whom she’s battled over the past few years.
The other 31st district seat is held by Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne). His seat is up in May 2018 – sort of. Chiaravalloti is in the Assembly as the representative of Jimmy Davis, because the Mayor of Bayonne gets to pick one of the Assembly members from the 31st district. After Davis ousted Mark Smith, he dropped Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell from the ticket and put Chiaravalloti in. If O’Donnell beats Davis, Chiaravalloti is toast. That’s not stop the presses news, just stating the obvious.