Sandra Bolden Cunningham, whose late husband served as Mayor of Jersey City and as a State Senator, will be the Hudson County Democratic Organization candidate for State Senate in the 31st district. She is expected to succeed Joseph Doria, who is not seeking re-election to a second term in the Senate.
Running for the State Assembly on the HCDO line will be Bayonne Councilman Anthony Chiappone, who served as an Assemblyman from 2004 to 2006, and L. Harvey Smith, who has served as Acting Mayor of Jersey City, as an interim State Senator, and as the Jersey City Council President.
Glenn Cunningham was elected Mayor in 2001 — the first African American to win the post — and served until his death in 2004. In 2003, he won a contentious State Senate primary against Smith, who had the backing of the HCDO. In that primary, Chiappone and Louis Manzo were elected to the Assembly, defeating incumbents Doria and Elba Perez-Cinnciarelli in the Democratic primary.
Manzo is expected to be a casualty of the Hudson Democratic realignment.
Cunningham will run on the HCDO line with Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, a longtime rival of her late husband. DeGise ran against Cunningham in the 2001 mayoral runoff, and Cunningham backed his rival in the 2002 County Executive primary.
Her decision to run with the organization strengthens the HCDO's bid to block Assemblyman Brian Stack, the Mayor of Union City, from winning a State Senate seat in the 33rd district.