The chandelier was such a going prop in New Jersey politics that they decided to not limit it to a fixture
in a place but to name an entire joint “The Chandelier” – on condition it be located in Hudson, and so arose a Bayonne establishment that tonight proudly played host to Mayor Jimmy Davis, who kicked off his 2018 reelection bid surrounded by Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) bigwig allies and the humble maritime machinery of local humanity.
“I am not running for mayor,” said Davis, a cop by trade pursuing his second term.
“I am the mayor of Bayonne,” he added.
“Four more years! Four more years!”
His son Joshua stood with him.
If there was any doubt about the power behind Davis as he looks to upend challenger Jason O’Donnell next year, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) came out tonight to back the incumbent, along with state Senator Sandy Cunningham, Senator Nick Sacco, Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez, and former Senator Bernie Kenny.
HCDO faces dotted the crowd, including all county officers.
MC and labor boss Ray Greaves emceed, in another dagger aimed at the eye of the opposition.
They even threw a pair of classic boxers into the crowd: the legendary Chuck Wepner and Vito Antuofermo, who once held Marvin Hagler to a draw.
“I have been a little busy,” the embattled Menendez cracked, “but Mayor Davis is the right leader to move Bayonne forward.”
Former Speaker (and former Mayor) Joe Doria was in the crowd. So were Neil Carroll and Len Kiczyk. Federal heft? There was George Helmy, state director for U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).
O’Donnell’s event looked good last night, but this was a bazooka mounted on a tank – with a flame thrower grenade launcher strapped to the dash.
There was Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, weathering the ribbing from Yankees fans, who knows Davis is potentially the human rumble strip between himself and annihilation. If Bayonne falls to O’Donnell and this crew leading the HCDO gets dislodged, DeGise could be the second casualty – right after sitting HCDO Chair Vinny Prieto.
The crowd listened with rapt attention while the mayor spoke, There was not the usual bar chatter as he went into the litany of reasons why they should reelect him. Afterwards, people clawed to get closer.
It looked daunting.
Big and packed and daunting.
Costco signed, sealed and delivered for Bayonne.
“Our job is not done yet,” Davis said, who uncorked a loving doozy too when he said he was in the final stages of talks with the Port Authority to bring ferry service to Bayonne.