BAYONNE, NJ - Ray Greaves, outgoing head of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) had a few unexpected guests as his annual Christmas party in Bayonne on Dec. 16.

Governor Phil Murphy, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, Rep. Albio Sires and  Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill were among the guests that stopped in at the Chandelier Restaurant to James and Sarah Biden, brother and sister-in-law of former Vice President Joe Biden, also made an appearance.

“I was surprised and honored that they came,” Greaves said. “Especially since I’ll be moving onto another position after this.”

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Greaves told TAPinto Bayonne that he grew close to Murphy even prior the governor’s ascension to New Jersey’s highest elected office. Their initial connection, Greaves added, was a mutual interest in improving New Jersey Transit service.

“We hit it off very well right from the start,” Greaves said. “And he, Bob Menendez, and Albio Sires have always been there when I needed them.”

The annual event served as a collection point in conjunction with the annual toy drive in memory of Cookie Daughtrey, longtime Bayonne social worker, and as a benefit for The Windmill Alliance, an adult day training program serving nearly 40 developmentally disabled adults every day.

“We do this to help Rev. Gregory Perez,” Greaves said.