O’Donnell Will Kick Off His 2018 Bayonne Mayoral Campaign Next Week

Committed to unseating Mayor Jimmy Davis, and doing so in fighting fashion if it comes to that, and it’s Bayonne, so it will, former Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (D-31) will formally launch his 2018 run for mayor next week, from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 11th, at the Knights of Columbus, confirming speculation by Jersey Journal Political Insider Augie Torres.

“I was born and raised in Bayonne,” O’Donnell told InsiderNJ. “I’m the forth generation. I bought a house three blocks from were I grew up. I walk my kids to school on the same streets where my father walked me to school. I’m picking my kids up as we speak. Bayonne’s a great place, and I think it deserves better. I’ve never shied away from a fight. I’ve never walked away from a fight.”

The Irish American married father of three’s been a fire fighter, tavern owner, and assemblyman.

“I never left I never will leave Bayonne,” he said. “A lot of my family is still here. It’s the place I call home.”

O’Donnell – married to a teacher with over two decades in the local public school system – said he plans to make affordability the center piece of his campaign for mayor.

“Our property taxes are skyrocketing,” the candidate said. “We’ve had some new development, which were tax abated deals, and we’re going to have to pay for that the future. I have three children, two in district and one special needs child outside the district, and I have nieces and nephews in the public schools.”

He said he wants to improve the quality of life in Bayonne for those children.

O’Donnell had a brawling career on politics over the course of the last ten years.

A run for mayor will fit right into that narrative.

He started out as the campaign manager for future Assemblyman Nick  Chiaravalloti (D-31) in a bruising 2007 fight that ended when Tony Chiappone defeated Chiaravalloti.

Then Mark Smith – O’Donnell’s pal and a protégé of former Speaker Joe Doria – beat the Chiappone-backed candidate for mayor, and O’Donnell supplanted Chiappone in the assembly.

He quickly staked his claim as a pro public sector unions guy at the height of Governor Chris Christie’s overhaul efforts, and ran afoul of the South Jersey Democratic Party-dominant establishment. Convinced of his all-weather advocacy and true Democratic Party roots in the s0-called Christiecrat era, state Senator Barbara Buono (D-18) tapped O’Donnell to lead the state party in 2013.

But South Jersey wouldn’t have it, and jettisoned him in favor of state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20), and ultimately for compromise candidate John Currie, who would himself end up embroiled in an ongoing fight with the south, specifically Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).

The irony of Smith’s loss to Jimmy Davis in 2014 was the involvement of the local teacher’s union, which blamed the mayor for its short end in a contract dispute. O’Donnell had been one of public sector labors true champions in Trenton – and a dogged political ally of then-Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-20).

But Smith also ran dangerously afoul of U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). The issue was the 2012 Democratic Primary in CD10.

Smith backed Nia Gill when Menendez wanted him to back Donald Payne, Jr., mostly to safeguard Menendez’s relationship with Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo.

Too many political enemies broke Smith’s back in a runoff election, and the mayor’s loss meant a jettisoned O’Donnell.

He had served four years in the Legislature.

Now, four years later, and with a handful of years under his belt at Kivvit, he wants to avenge Smith’s loss to Davis by turning Davis back onto the streets.

Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis

But it’s really not about Smith anymore.

He’s got his own beef with how the mayor’s run his beloved Bayonne.

“I have a leg up now because I have statewide relationships with other mayors and other county executives,” O’Donnell told InsiderNJ. “I spent the last two years working with big corporate entities, learning their processes and how they evaluate success and failure.”

Set to launch next Wednesday, he hasn’t done any fundraising to date, he said.

“We’re opening the account this week,” O’Donnell said. “It’s crass to fundraise before you even announce. We will be able to fund a robust and positive campaign.”

A positive campaign.

It almost sounds oxymoronic when applied to Bayonne, scene of some of the most brutal local politics statewide.

Does he really want to wade into the nightmare all over again?

“It’s worth it,” O’Donnell said.


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15 responses to “O’Donnell Will Kick Off His 2018 Bayonne Mayoral Campaign Next Week”

  1. So his experience as two term legislator in Trenton making money for special interests makes him qualified to run? Another money-hungry political hack wanna be. and he served with Kivvit- Screams special interest money.

    • I don’t know about all of that. I know about the guy volunteering for any and every community initiative. He’s a stand up family man, a former business owner, firefighter, and state legislator.

      • So is “JimmytheSexter” your alt account? Nice try, you pede. Your “stand up ” firefighter didn’t even work on 9/11- he was sleeping on the couch all day. Read his recent article on here, you’ll see its thinly veiled disguise at how he didn’t do jack but cozy up in Bayonne.

    • Erica. I mean Leana, how many little pills did you pop this week? Aren’t you supposed to be working. The FBI doesn’t like it when fat employees steal government time. I will be screen shotting all your posts over the months and sending them in. So keep it up.

  2. All the rumors about Bayonne making progress are true after all. All the outside money has found a candidate at last!

    • Honestly tho, have you read thru Jimmy’s elec report? It’s all outside money. The only other money he gets are from the local developers who get the 30 yr abatements, their attorneys, the realtors with exclusive rights to lease those apartments, and a couple of people in city hall hoping for a promotion.

      • HE WORKS WITH KIVVIT!! Their biggest clients are developers and the damn Casino people that wanted to build a Casino in Jersey City. Have you read anything about him??? He personally works with the developers, with special interests. Wake up sheeple!!!

  3. You may be a politician and but not a leader.
    Popularity neither makes you.. a politician nor a leader.

  4. .You are nothing but mis-informed.—JimmyTheSexter, you need your mouth washed with soap.
    Get in touch with me—-keep hiding you phony…

  5. Jason O’Donnell
    You are not a politician and not a leader.
    Popularity neither makes you.. a politician nor a leader.

  6. Jason O’Donnell… the election should be clean.
    From what i hear “street gossip”…
    your supporters (do you want the names) are going into the black bag and you’re doing nothing to stop them.

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