Gov. Phil Murphy is steering well clear of an intra-party fight between a mayor he supported and a legislator who’s been a political ally.
He declined to comment when asked if he agreed with Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne) being pulled of the Hudson County Democratic line.
“I’m a big fan of both of them, and we’ve worked really well with both over the past number of years,” Murphy said. “I’ve got nothing new in terms of where I think that settles, but two outstanding public servants. Two outstanding electeds.”
The maneuver is possible because of a tradition in Hudson County that allows mayors, in this case Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, to pick part of their legislative delegation.
He wants William B. Sampson IV, a crane operator at the Port of Bayonne and a union member, to replace Chiaravalloti, a three-term Assemblyman.
Murphy in 2018 made a governmental appearance to announce $1 million in grants for a waterfront walkway and park in Bayonne. He stayed out of the race officially, endorsing neither Davis nor former Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, but the event came just six days before the city’s election.
Chiaravalloti was there too.