JERSEY CITY – On the Jersey City side of the state 31st Legislative District Assembly race, two words now ring true: it’s on.
Incumbent Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31), apparently facing a challenge by Joyce Watterman, a Jersey City councilwoman-at-large, for the LD 31 Assembly seat unofficially picked by the Jersey City mayor, will fight for his seat.
If money talks and all else walks in politics, then the proof of Mainor’s desire to defend his seat is in a fundraising notice that went out Wednesday morning.
A fundraising breakfast for Mainor will be held on Monday, February 23 at Mastori’s Diner in Bordentown.
In LD 31, the traditional demarcation point for the two Assembly seats is the border between Bayonne and Jersey City. The mayors of the two Hudson County municipalities pick one Assembly slot each, according to the district’s unwritten rules.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, a potential 2017 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, is reportedly behind Watterman, a Jersey City councilwoman-at-large and an ally of the mayor of New Jersey’s second largest city, in the 2015 Assembly race. Watterman would replace the incumbent Mainor (D-31), who has consistently sided against Fulop, including supporting former Mayor Jerramiah Healy in the 2013 Jersey City mayoral election.
But state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), apparently miffed because she feels she was not consulted by Fulop and state Assembly Speaker Vinny Prieto (D-32) in his role as Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) chairman about the choice of Watterman, is reportedly considering running Mainor and fellow incumbent Jason O’Donnell (D-31) against Watterman and Nicholas Chiaravalloti, the apparent Assembly seat pick of Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis.
Hudson County Democratic sources confirmed a December meeting between Fulop, Prieto and Cunningham, but the parties at the meeting apparently, experiencing a Rashomon effect, drew different conclusions.
Cunningham and Fulop offered no comment when asked on Tuesday evening about the developing LD 31 situation.