Twas the night before the Jersey City election, and none of the candidates got arrested

Following the criminal conviction of Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann in 1992, nineteen candidates filed to run in a November non-partisan special election to fill the remaining nine months of his term. Among the candidates were: Bret Schundler, a Republican who had run a strong race against State Sen. Edward O'Connor (D-Jersey City) the year before; Hudson County Freeholder Louis Manzo; and former Jersey City Democratic Chairman Allen Manzo. Louis and Allen Manzo were brothers.

Allen Manzo was a McCann ally, and Louis Manzo was a political foe of the Mayor.

At first, the Manzo brothers argued about slogans. Louis Manzo went on the ballot as "An Honest Difference," while Allen Manzo filed with "An Honest Change." Louis Manzo lost a court challenge seeking to invalidate his brother's petitions, and then changed his slogan to "The Real Manzo." Allen Manzo got the top ballot slot; Louis Manzo was somewhere in the middle.

The real turning point in the campaign came when their mother, Mary Manzo, endorsed Louis Manzo and taped a TV ad urging Jersey City voters to vote for "The Real Manzo."

The night before the election, Allen Manzo was charged with aggravated assault and possession of an unlawful weapon after an altercation with his neighbor, Rudolph Contey, 66, who was hanging a Louis Manzo campaign sign on a telephone pole near their homes. Manzo beat Contey with a tire iron, causing a fairly serious head injury.

Schundler won that race by 1,443 votes over Louis Manzo. Allen Manzo was the spoiler: he received 3,642 votes.

Twas the night before the Jersey City election, and none of the candidates got arrested