Friday, July 7, 2017

Hoboken campaigns engage for the prize

A whirlwind of events in recent weeks finds the Mile Square City in a place few saw coming: a wide open mayoral election.

Four major campaigns are underway and some council candidates are being tossed into the mix as the  battle for who will succeed Mayor Zimmer.

The failure to execute what many close political observers anticipated as the baton toss to the well established councilman Ravi Bhalla, who shepherded her legislative will in his two terms has opened the flood gates. Some observers will look back and say if that two step plan had been handled better, the seasoned council member would be a favorite against two Old Guard options as in 2013.

That's water under the bridge. Now you have three savy, seasoned and experienced Hoboken political veterans in council members Ravi Bhalla, Jen Giattino, Freeholder Anthony "Stick" Romano and one shiny penny, the junior councilman Mike DeFusco.

Hoboken's wide open mayoral race to succeed Mayor Dawn Zimmer sees four major campaigns vying for her seat
on the second floor of City Hall led by established political forces: Council President Jen Giattino, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, Freeholder Anthony Romano and one shiny penny in junior councilman Mike DeFusco. 

All the major mayoral candidates have strengths and weaknesses. Romano easily won his re-election bid for Freeholder and has the hearts and minds of Old Hoboken ready to pull the lever for him in November. His name recognition establishes him as the frontrunner out of the gate.

Reform council members Ravi Bhalla and Jen Giattino have lengthy resumes of winning legislation on the City Council and loyal supporters in the community. Bhalla has the coveted endorsement of Mayor Zimmer while Giattino has fervid grassroots backing who literally cheered her announcement entering the race.

Councilman Mike DeFusco has the support of Old Guard politicos Frank "Pupie" Raia, Perry Belfiore, Councilman Ruben Ramos and rumors say Carmelo Garcia, fundraising outside Hoboken but without long time friend Chris Campos who fell into the "man down" category and is scheduled to go away this fall.

Don't look at any of that the DeFusco camp will say; look at the new recruited faces for the at-large council slate and of course the fixture atop the ticket, a shiny penny.

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