Friday, June 23, 2017

Reform pow wow into the night

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE


Two meetings among friends and potential campaign rivals for mayor go quietly into the night

Last night, a second evening meeting followed an earlier midday meeting between friends and potential mayoral rivals in Councilman Ravi Bhalla and Council President Jen Giattino.

The daytime meeting didn't resolve the friction where one campaign was launched in concert with Mayor Dawn Zimmer's simultaneous announced departure and endorsement for Bhalla and any opportunity to present an alternative negated for Giattino.

City Council President Jen Giattino,: broadest and most
crossover appeal to Hoboken voters? That's one question.
With Jen Giattino's statement issued last night she is weighing a run for mayor, much is changed in the Hoboken mayoral landscape and much remains the same, at least for the time being.

Late yesterday, a second evening meeting saw a sit down with council members Tiffanie Fisher and Peter Cunningham joining Jen Giattino with Ravi Bhalla and former Mayor Zimmer's chief of staff according to sources close to the attending parties.

Efforts at resolving the issues between the two developing campaigns came up well short leading to the end of day statement Jen Giattino will continue to weigh options and hear out Hoboken supporters and residents this weekend.

The concept of a split between both the Old Guard and Reform camps is a misnomer. Each of the likely four major candidates for Hoboken mayor will not start or end with 25% of the vote. Some campaigns will rise, others will fall, some precipitously as the slings and arrows of campaigning begin to take shape and impacts the electorate.

A Giattino movement initially began this week with similar calls among some residents for the independent policy wonk and new Hoboken Democratic Chair Tiffanie Fisher. Those groups now appear coalescing in favor of Jen Giattino for numerous reasons: electability to the voter perception on who captures the broadest appeal to Hoboken voters.

There's another major question on who who holds the biggest crossover appeal for both new and Old Hoboken voters. The advantage there would appear to go to Jen Giattino. The advantage for Councilman Bhalla who has voted closer in the council to Mayor Zimmer means he will gain votes from those who are most likely to follow her lead.

Councilman Ravi Bhalla has the endorsement of Mayor
Dawn Zimmer seen here at a February fundraiser.
How much can it help in November is another question.
A united front of long time councilman Peter Cunningham in the fifth ward and councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher in the second ward however creates another formidable base of support. Mayor Dawn Zimmer's endorsement will give a kick to Ravi Bhalla but its staying power in November will be uncertain as her lame duck status diminishes some of its impact with the onset of Zimmer fatigue after eight years as mayor.

Anthony "Stick" Romano is anticipated to announce his mayoral candidacy next week as an unexpected delay with HudCo sees no dash into Hoboken for a photo-op. This is in fear of triggering a volcanic response from heavyweight State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack. Romano's grounded for the moment but will make his move next week.

If the November ballot does come down to a four way race of major mayoral campaigns: Mike DeFusco, Anthony Stick Romano, Ravi Bhalla and Jen Giattino the negativity and slurs won't be coming from any of the  core reform people or their respective campaigns. That's the hope although no one can control the rogue and often ugly anonymous vs. anonymous battle a mostly select handful online between DeFusco backers and hyper partisans.

In a four way race of major mayoral candidates: Romano, Councilman Mike DeFusco, Ravi Bhalla and Jen Giattino, much remains uncertain but Hoboken's summer campaign fun is already underway.