The expected retirement of state Senator Sandra Cunningham has created a political kerfuffle in LD31.
In LD-31, there is increasing speculation that veteran incumbent state Senator Sandy Cunningham (pictured, above) will not pursue reelection. Sources say John Minella, aide to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, would likely fill the vacancy, with Commissioner Bill O’Dea slated as a longer-term replacement.
Indeed, it’s true that Cunningham will not run again.
It is also true that Fulop is said to favor or to have favored O’Dea as the full-term replacement.
But machinations always afoot in Hudson open other potential candidacies, be it on or off the line.
They include O’Dea, first elected County Commissioner by one vote among county committee people to fill the unexpired term of County Commissioner Henry “Hank” Gallo, who died unexpectedly in September 1997. From his county bio: “In November 1998, County Commissioner O’Dea roundly defended his seat, obtaining the electorate’s full support, for the remaining one year of the term.”
“Now serving his eighth full term, County Commissioner O’Dea is the Chairperson of the Public Resources Committee; a member of the following committees: Taskforce on the Homeless; and Liaison to the Workforce Investment Board.”
Then there’s Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-31).
Sworn into office on January 12, 2016, a resident of Jersey City, McKnight received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix with a major in business management. She is the founder and chief executive officer of AngelaCARES, an advocacy and support organization for senior citizens. As a member of the General Assembly, McKnight has been appointed to serve on the Education Committee, the Health and Senior Services Committee and the Human Services Committee. She is also a member in good standing of the Black Legislative Caucus.
Then there’s Commissioner Jerry Walker, co-founder and CEO of the non-profit organization, Team Walker. In 1996, The Jersey City native returned from a successful basketball career “to give back to his community and make a difference in the lives of youth.
“Team Walker provides academic and athletic afterschool and summer programs for over 500 boys and girls from the ages of 3 to 18 through structured STEM learning, safe recreational activities and access to positive role models. Jerry’s motto is to give youth a first chance to be great that way they’ll need fewer second chances.”
Now, here’s the question: