Chiappone’s downward spiral

Bayonne Councilman Anthony Chiappone has not done well in politics since 2003, when he scored an upset victory for the Democratic Assembly nomination — ousting twelve-term incumbent Joseph Doria on a ticket that dealt a rare loss for the Hudson County Democratic Organization. Chiappone went to the Assembly on the coattails of Glenn Cunningham, the Mayor of Jersey City who won a seat in the State Senate over the objections of the HCDO. But when Cunningham died unexpectedly in June 2004, Democrats picked Doria, the Mayor of Bayonne and Chiappone’s local rival, to take the Senate seat. Chiappone ran as an Independent in a November 2004 special election, losing to Doria by a 67%-21% margin in a four-candidate race; Bayonne voters preferred Doria by a 61%-37% margin. Chiappone’s ’03 running mate, Assemblyman Louis Manzo, ran for re-election on the HCDO line in 2005 with Charles Epps, the Jersey City Superintendent of Schools. Chiappone ran off the line with Bill Ayala, Cunningham’s former Chief of Staff, but lost the Democratic primary by more than a 2-1 margin. Now Chiappone is up for re-election to the Bayonne City Council. Doria, seeking re-election to a third term as Mayor, has recruited a full slate of Council candidates in his effort to unseat Chiappone. Chiappone’s expected running mate, Ricky Pasquale, dropped out of the race this week, leaving the incumbent alone on the ballot. Pasquale works as a landscaper for the Bayonne Department of Public Works, and apparently did not realize until recently that serving on the City Council might be a conflict.

Chiappone’s downward spiral