When Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31) tried to run across no man’s land as the new chair of the Democratic State Committee, he figured he’d have at least his home county of Hudson behind him.
For after all, in the inimitable words of state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32), “Hudson stands with Hudson.”
But not in this case.
O’Donnell was left to zigzag in torment and, apparently, similarly sized up as roadkill as his friend and former Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) Chairman Mark Smith.
O’Donnell survived 2013 but left insiders muttering about the unlikelihood of his political future; that is, until last night, when Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop endorsed Smith’s re-election.
The symbolism of Fulop wrapping his arms around the county-whipped Smith and recognizing his strength within the brutal blue collar gladiatorial pigpen of Bayonne politics had a direct and unmistakable O’Donnell component.
Look for O’Donnell – Smith’s campaign manager – to either be safely on the line in 2015, with Fulop’s blessing – or repackaged as part of Fulop’s gubernatorial apparatus.
The Jersey City Mayor wants to cultivate good relations with sitting State Chairman John Currie.
But as Fulop looks to consolidate Northern power in advance of a statewide primary, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility to picture O’Donnell in a boosted political capacity if he chooses not to continue on in the assembly, especially when Fulop will have the challenge of convincing others that “Hudson stands with Hudson.”