JERSEY CITY – In an already fiery Hudson County political environment following Sunday’s announcement by state Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31) that he is launching an off-the-line reelection bid in direct defiance of the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO), Sandra Cunningham, the 31st Legislative District’s state Senator, responded to Mainor’s move in terms of pure politics and in tones of pure emotion.
When explaining his reasons for running again, Mainor spoke partially in personal terms. A retired Jersey City police detective, Mainor served as the head of the personal security detail of the late former Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham, the city’s first African-American mayor, who died in 2004. He drove Cunningham to City Hall on the day he was sworn in.
Mainor, who stated that he believed that there was a “void in African-American leadership” in Jersey City when he was making his decision, also referenced his reverence of the iconic late mayor’s memory. Mainor stated that he believed that if Glenn Cunningham were alive, he would tell him to run.
At the same time, Mainor expressed a degree of trepidation about the response of Sandra Cunningham, Glenn’s widow, to his move. She has been working together with her sometime rival in Hudson County politics, Jersey City Mayor and potential 2017 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Fulop, to unify behind the recently-named, Jersey City-based, HCDO-backed LD 31 Assembly candidate, Angela McKnight.
“Glenn was a very good man, and he loved his wife dearly. And if his wife is not happy, I don’t know how Glenn feels right now. I’ve got to find out if Mrs. Cunningham is happy,” Mainor told PolitickerNJ on Sunday. “That’s what bothers me the most. That’s tough.”
Then, on Tuesday evening, Sandra Cunningham spoke.
“It’s always good to know that my husband, Glenn Cunningham, continues to inspire people to public service. However, please know that Mayor and State Senator Glenn D. Cunningham was a man of integrity and honor. He believed his word was his bond. Unfortunately, Assemblyman Mainor does not believe that,” Cunningham told PolitickerNJ. “That is why he is running this race without my support and without the support of the Cunningham team.”
Mainor could not be immediately reached for comment.