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LD31 Senate candidate Michael Griffin. (Photo: Michael Griffin via Facebook).

With Cunningham likely retiring, LD31 gets its first Senate candidate

Michael Griffin, ally of Jersey City Councilman Frank Gilmore, unlikely to get Hudson Dem support

By Joey Fox, February 01 2023 4:12 pm

As first reported by the Hudson County View this morning, former Jersey City Council candidate Michael Griffin will run for the State Senate in the 31st legislative district, where State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) isn’t expected to run for re-election due to cognitive health issues.

“If [Cunningham] was still here and in action, there wouldn’t be a conversation on this,” Griffin told the Hudson County View’s John Heinis. “But if leadership is going to change hands, there should be a challenge to the [Hudson Democratic organization] who understands the community and knows what it takes to move things forward.”

Griffin served as campaign manager for now-Ward F Jersey City Councilman Frank Gilmore’s successful 2021 campaign, four years after Griffin himself lost a race for the same seat by a wide margin. According to Griffin’s candidacy filing with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Gilmore will be his campaign chairperson. 

That affiliation with Gilmore means Griffin is unlikely to be the choice of the Hudson Democratic Party; Gilmore is one of two members of the Jersey City Council who isn’t aligned with Mayor Steve Fulop and the broader county party.

Who the party’s choice will be, however, is still unclear. Though Hudson Democrats have already announced their full 2023 slates in the neighboring 32nd and 33rd districts, top party leaders have said little publicly about the 31st district, leaving things in limbo.

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