BAYONNE -- Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone met with former council candidates Denis Wilbeck and Ramon Veloz last week in an apparent exploration of putting together a ticket in the May municipal elections. All five council seats as well as mayor will be on the ballot. If state charges are dropped against Chiappone, sources close to him say he could head the ticket against a ticket headed by incumbent Mayor Mark Smith. Wilbeck would run for one of the two at large council seats while Veloz would run in the second ward.
Incumbent 2nd Ward Councilman John Halecky has not indicated if he will run for another term, but as a month ago, he said he was leaning against running. Incumbent at-large Councilman Vincent Lo Re this week said he is still uncertain as to whether or not he will seek reelection.
Incumbent first ward Councilman Ted Connolly said this week he is seeking reelection, but was doubtful he would be on the Smith ticket.
Chiappone has been under investigation for allegedly diverting aides' salaries to campaign funds.