Gov. Chris Christie has enjoyed record approval ratings but in this gubernatorial election year, he has also enjoyed the support of several Democratic mayors in the state. Now he can add another Democrat to his list of supporters — Anthony Davis, Paterson City Council President. While the move may raise some eyebrows within his party, he tells NJ Today Senior Correspondent Desirée Taylor, his endorsement of the governor is not about party politics.
First and foremost, Davis wants to make clear that while the majority of Paterson residents vote Democratically, the city of Paterson is nonpartisan.
“We’re not a Democratic city nor Republican,” proclaimed Davis. “My endorsement for the governor was certainly not about myself, Anthony Davis … It’s about coming together and building a relationship with the governor.”
Before he became council president, Davis says the city did not have a relationship with Christie.
“You know, when you become council president you become voice of the council,” he said. “[The] previous president of the council made remarks about the governor and so I wanted to get a clean slate, let him know I’m willing to have [an] open dialogue and communicate. That’s all I wanted. … To say look, make Paterson relevant.”
When asked what about the governor he likes, Davis says he likes the governor’s candor.
“There are some people who like his style in terms of leadership and that’s what it’s about — leadership — and telling it like it is,” Davis said.
On a more tangible level, Davis says the governor restored funding to the city’s recreation department.
“It’s a $1.2 million budget and it was cut $600,000,” Davis said. “He reversed that and made sure that Paterson is fully funded. So what does that mean? That means now we have 200-plus children in the city of Paterson this summer that will be not on the street.”
Davis says that his endorsement came with a lot of backlash.
“People are calling me all types of names, hurtful, negative remarks … I’m standing by my decision,” he said. “I’m still a Democrat. I didn’t say I endorse his party, I endorse him, making sure that Paterson be relevant.”