Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith digested with no great or urgent sense of drama the news of Assemblyman Tony Chiappone (D-Bayonne) running against him.
“I’m a cop for 26 years – nothing surprises me,” he said, referring to Chiappone’s decision today to obtain petitions from the clerk’s office.
The state Attorney General’s Office has indicted the assemblyman for funneling aides’ paychecks into his personal and campaign accounts, a rap Chiappone feels he can beat.
Regardless, Smith said he’ll beat Chiappone.
“Anybody has the right to run,” said the mayor. “But I’ll take my 18 months in office and put them before the voters. Let the folks decide. I’m confident we’ll prevail for the right reasons. We started to turn this battleship around in the bathtub, and I think people appreciate that.”