Bayonne Election for Mayor and City Council May 13th , 2014 Just around the corner
By Ricardo Kaulessar- photo by Steve A. Mack
If you don’t know who Mark Smith, James Davis and Anthony Zanowic are, then you are probably not aware of the upcoming Bayonne municipal election.
The three men are vying to get the most votes on May 13 to be propelled into the highest office in Hudson County’s southernmost city.
However, they are not the only ones on the ballot as there are candidates looking to represent each of the city’s three wards as well as two at-large seats on the City Council.
So in the final days before Election Day, those in the running for mayor and council are doing everything from pressing the flesh with constituents to debating each other in public venues in order to win.
It’s a cliché that applies not only to sports but just as appropriately to politics – in order to be number one, you have to beat number one. That applies to the challengers who seek to dethrone Mayor Mark Smith.
Smith, who has been mayor since November 2008, is running for a second four-year term.
Before becoming mayor, Smith served In the Bayonne Police Department for 25 years where he rose through the ranks to deputy chief.
Smith on his campaign website has been touting his accomplishments while in office such as stemming the growth of property taxes, attracting new developments in recent years including the Bayonne Crossings shopping plaza, making government smaller and more efficient, and cutting municipal debt by over 40%.
The Bayonne mayor also has received endorsements from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, the New Jersey State Association of Pipe Trades and even former rival Patrick Conaghan.
If Mark Smith does not win a next term to serve as mayor, the Bayonne Police Department will still have a presence in the mayor’s office if James Davis is the victor.
Davis has been on the police force, currently holding the title of captain. His work has included leading a task force from 2007 to 2008 that made a number of arrests while dismantling a burglary and motor vehicle theft ring, and later helping to shut down cocaine distribution network operating partly out of Bayonne.
Reports in the local media have said that Davis supports various issues such as rent control and changing the current appointed school board to an elected one.
Is there an equivalent of a perfect strike in politics? Anthony Zanowic hopes so when the 13th day of May comes rolling around and he finds himself known as Mayor Zanowic.
The current manager at Hudson Lanes, the bowling alley located near Jersey City-Bayonne border, is running on a platform he has called “A Better Bayonne.”
In a document posted on his campaign website, Zanowic pledges to do everything from eliminating bonuses for school administrators to bringing transparency to City Hall to granting tax abatements to attract new businesses to Bayonne.
While Zanowic is a Republican in a Democratic town, he does have some name recognition due to his past run for Congress in the 13th District in 2010 and his run last year for the State Assembly in the 31st District.
All three mayoral contenders have their slates with council candidates with full slates for Davis and Smith.
Zanowic has four out of a usual five for an election ticket: Leonard Kantor for At-Large, Anthony Di Iorio, for the Third Ward, Chelsea Jeskie for the Second Ward and Daniel Herrera for First Ward.
Running on Davis’ ticket are Juan Perez and Sharon Ashe Nadrowski for At-Large, Thomas Cotter for First Ward, Salvatore Gullace for Second Ward and Gary LaPelusa for Third Ward.
Smith’s ticket includes Terrence Ruane and Debra CzerwienskI (At-Large), Agnes Gillespie (First Ward), Joseph Hurley (Second Ward) and Raymond Greaves (Third Ward).
There are also a few independents on the ballot. They are John Sebik for At-Large, and Washington Flores and Michael Alonso for the Third Ward.