If William B. Sampson IV can find Trenton by Tuesday noon, he has already exceeded expectations.
Not since Patrick Pasculli (D-Bayonne) graced the halls of the Statehouse in the late 1970s and sponsored a bill on its first day to give state lawmakers free tolls for the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike, the has been The bar has been set so low for a future legislator.
The 33-year-old crane operator and member of the International Longshoremen’s Union will take office today as the new MP from the 31st District, which represents Bayonne and part of Jersey City. He will replace Congregation Majority Leader Nicholas Chiaravalloti, who was not re-elected to a fourth term after losing the support of his former ally, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis.
Davis still hasn’t explained why he refused to support Chiaravalloti, his former ally. But the rule in Hudson County is that the Mayor of Bayonne can vote for MPs.
Sampson had never voted on a Democratic primary and has a mother who answers his cell phone. He kept his head bowed in the general election and won 3-1. Bayonne hasn’t endorsed a Republican Congregation candidate since Albert Stephens (R-Bayonne), 24, won the Warren Harding landslide in 1920. In the days when the congregation was elected year old terns, Stephens was deposed in just 12 months.
The descent of the seat of the Bayonne Assembly
Chiaravalloti came to the meeting as did Sampson. After Davis deposed Mayor Mark Smith in 2014, he chose Chiaravalloti to replace MP Jason O’Donnell (D-Bayonne).
O’Donnell went to Trenton as Davis’ choice in a 2010 special election after Rep. Anthony Chiappone (D-Bayonne) resigned. Chiappone was charged in 2009 with averting legislative paychecks for himself and his campaign and stayed in office until he accepted a deal ten months later.
Chiappone was an unlikely winner in a 2003 Democratic primary, which saw a Senate primary between Jersey City Mayor Glenn Cunningham and Democratic Hudson Organization candidate, Jersey City Council President L. Harvey Smith , took place. Cunningham ran up with Chiappone and the former freeholder Louis Manzo (D-Jersey City). On the skirts of Cunningham’s 2,088-vote victory over Smith, Chiappone and Manzo narrowly defeated incumbents Joseph Doria (D-Bayonne) and Elba Perez-Cinciarelli (D-Jersey City) in the Democratic primary.
Doria was elected to the assembly in 1979 after the Democrats removed Pasculli from Bayonne headquarters.
Pasculli and Charles Mays, Sr. (D-Jersey City), a former US Olympic long jumper, were elected after one of the major Democratic primaries in Hudson County.
In 1977 New Jersey Democratic President James P. Dugan (D-Bayonne) found himself in two terms, in a political war with Governor Brendan Byrne and, more importantly, Bayonne Mayor Dennis Collins.
Byrne faced ten challengers as he went for a renomination in the Democratic primary. One of them, Jersey City Mayor Paul Jordan, watched his campaign go down in May when his hand-crippled mayor successor, Bill Macchi, lost to Thomas FX Smith.
In the 31st Democratic Senate area code, Bayonne High School football coach Donald X. Ahern, a local legend supported by Collins, got 29% and Dugan was third with 20% of the vote, 8,328 votes behind Sheil. A fourth candidate, Frank Gorman, received 2%.
Pasculli and Mays were in line with Sheil. They defeated Frank Perrucci, President of the Laborers ‘International Union Local 102 and one of Collins’ best allies with 2,941 votes. Jersey City councilor Morris Pesin, who ran on Dugan’s ticket, finished fifth. Triple MP William O. Perkins (D-Jersey City) who ran up with Dugan finished seventh behind John Alston Sr. and ahead of the colorful Bayonne narrator James M. “JoJo” Deveney.
From 1970 to 1977 the seat of the Bayonne Assembly was held by Joseph A. LeFante, who served as spokesman for the New Jersey State Assembly when he was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1976 after the resignation of Rep. Dominick Daniels (D-Jersey City).
LeFante and Dugan were running for election when they won the newly formed Hudson County Assembly district in 1969.