Dennis Collins, who served as Mayor of Bayonne from 1974 to 1990, passed away on Sunday. He was 85.
Collins first won public office in 1962, when he ran for First Ward Councilman on a ticket headed by mayoral candidate Francis Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick defeated Councilman Frank Januszewski in a runoff after beating incumbent Alfred Brady, former mayor Thomas Domenico, and two others in the May non-partisan election. Collins defeated John Hennessy, who ran on the Januszewski ticket, in the Council runoff.
When Fitzpatrick decided to retire in 1974, Collins, by then the Council President, easily won election as Mayor. He faced only token opposition, and coasted to victory in 1978 and 1982. He won his last race in 1986 with 61% of the vote against Richard Rutkowski. He retired in 1990, and in 1998 he ran the mayoral campaign of his longtime ally, Joseph Doria.
A viewing for Collins will be held on Wednesday and Thursday from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at the Bayonne Memorial Home. A mass will be celebrated on Friday at 10:30 AM at the St. Mary Star of the Sea Church.