TRENTON – State Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31) was a highly visible backer of Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith’s recent re-election effort. Mainor, a retired Jersey City police detective and a state Assemblyman since 2010, actively campaigned for Smith, the former Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) chairman. The day before the June 10 Bayonne mayoral runoff election, Mainor handed out palm cards at the 8th Street light rail station in Bayonne, side by side with Smith.
But last week’s Bayonne mayoral runoff election resulted in an upset victory for insurgent candidate Jimmy Davis. And many political observers, especially in retribution-heavy Hudson County, wonder if the day of reckoning has come for Smith’s supporters, including for Mainor.
But when asked if Mainor’s future was in doubt after Smith’s narrow defeat, state Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31) refused to entertain the idea that Mainor might pay a price for supporting Smith.
“That’s ridiculous. What effect does [Smith’s defeat] have on Charlie Mainor?” Cunningham told PolitickerNJ.com in Trenton on Monday. “Charlie Mainor I’m sure will be on the ticket the next time around.”
Mainor is up for re-election in 2015 along with state Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, who served as Smith’s campaign manager.
While Cunningham was clearly supportive of Mainor’s political future, she was less effusive regarding O’Donnell’s fate.
“As far as I’m concerned, Jason O’Donnell has been a fine Assemblyman,” Cunningham said. “I hope that he will be on the ticket.”
A tacit rule in Hudson County politics is that Bayonne’s mayor selects their preferred candidate for the 31st Legislative District Assembly seat. However, some Hudson County observers believe that Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a potential Democratic gubernatorial candidate, could try to exert his growing influence on the fate of an Assembly seat that largely lies in Bayonne.
Cunningham, however, bluntly rejected this idea.
“What does Steve Fulop have to do with Bayonne? He’s the mayor of Jersey City,” Cunningham told PolitickerNJ.com. “He has nothing to do with it.”