Joe Doria’s Future

Bayonne Mayor Joseph Doria is viewed as the favorite in the June 13 Runoff Election against former Municipal Court Judge Patrick Conaghan, but his failure to achieve the 50% needed to avoid a run-off last night could spell trouble for him next year if he chooses to seek re-election to his State Senate seat. The Hudson County Democratic Organization awarded the seat to Doria in 2004 after the death of Jersey City Mayor/State Senator Glenn Cunningham, whose slate defeated Doria — then an 11-term incumbent and former Assembly Speaker — for re-election to the Assembly seat in 2003. Doria now faces a dilemma if he runs for re-election next year against his likely opponent, Sandra Bolden Cunningham, the former mayor’s widow. Doria’s local archnemesis, former Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone, who was the high vote getter in Bayonne yesterday, was on the Cunningham slate in 2003 that deprived Doria of his Assembly seat. Chiappone lost his re-election bid last year after the Hudson County Democratic Organization supported Jersey City School Superintendent Charles Epps for his seat. If Chiappone were to run for his old Assembly seat on the Cunningham slate next year, he can harness his support in Bayonne to deliver a victory to Cunningham, who could do well in the heavily African-American Jersey City portion of the district. Doria wanted out of Trenton last year, when then-Governor Richard Codey sought to secure his appointment as President of Ramapo College. This morning, some Democrats are wondering whether he (or his friends) really wants another fight next year.

Joe Doria’s Future