The circumstance of Bayonne’s geography means the Hudson County city can either join parts of Jersey City or Newark in a legislative district.
Bayonne’s population grew by 13.7% over the last ten years and now has 71,686 residents, according to 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data released on Thursday.
With an ideally-sized legislative district at 232,225, another 160,539 people need to be added to create a legislative district.
With the drawing of that district comes the reality that Jersey City and Newark are the only two cities in the state that may be split by the Legislative Apportionment Commission – and they may sit in no more than two districts.
Since 1973, the 31st district has included only Bayonne and part of Jersey City. If that tradition continues – it won’t necessarily be that way – the new Bayonne district would 160,539 people from Jersey City.
But that number could be less, if the redistricting commission decides that the other Jersey City district would have 131,910 people – about 57% of the other local legislative district.
Right now, Senate Majority Whip Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) represents the 31st, along with Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Jersey City). The second Assembly seat is expected to go to Democrat William Sampson, a longshoreman from Bayonne. Assembly Majority Whip Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Bayonne) is not seeking re-election.
The math for Jersey City is complicated, albeit not the obstacle some thought it would be had Jersey City’s population been even greater.
The rest of Jersey City is in the 33rd legislative district, which includes Hoboken, Union City and Weehawken. Those three downs have added 17,191 new residents in a district where about 43% of the residents currently live in Jersey City.
District 33 is represented by State Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union) City, Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken).
The 32nd district is 11,650 people over the ideal population of a legislative district and the growth of Hudson County could force State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen) and his Assembly running mate to shed some towns.
From 1973 through 1981, Harrison and Kearny were part of a Newark-based legislative district.