What former Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. is attempting to do in West Orange is to become the first Essex County mayor of one town to become mayor of another town, in this case an adjoining town.
He’s a long-shot in a race against incumbent Mayor Robert Parisi that also includes independent Councilman Joe Krakoviak.
Part of Hawkins’ argument for the right to represent West Orange is that he was raised there and served as a cop there.
As playful party rumors nibble at former Gov. James McGreevey concerning his future in Jersey City, the drama in West Orange provides a fun kaleidoscope for those who might even just consider the possibility of running beyond where they built their political base.
Although he denies it and says he’s focused on a life beyond elected office, sources insist that the socially hyper-kinetic McGreevey – the former mayor of Woodbridge – is a possible future candidate for Jersey City mayor.
The fact that he’s a former governor obviously puts him in a special category, but just as Hawkins makes his own argument for West Orange authenticity, so too could McGreevey – a Jersey City native – present a case for a Hudson political comfort zone.
Again, he repeatedly points out that he’s not interested.
Trying to determine whether Hawkins would make history in his quest to represent two towns as mayor, we turned to New Jersey political historian Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-36) with the question: Has anyone in his recollection gone from being the mayor of one Essex town to another?
Giblin said he could not recall anyone having made that leap.
He did point out that former Newark West Ward Council Frank Addonizio served on the local governing body from 1958 to 1970, then over 20 years later went on to become the mayor of Wall Township in Monmouth County.
Mr. Addonizio – no relation to the late former Mayor Hugh Addonizio – died in 2012 at age 85.